Utilizing road weather information system (RWIS) data to improve response to adverse conditions

Daniel T Blomquist
Jodi Carson

Adverse weather can significantly change the condition of the roadway within a short period of time, often with little or no warning to motorists or response personnel charged with protecting public safety. Traditional crash data is both aggregate and subjective in nature, limiting the ability to (1) accurately identify those weather conditions under which safety levels are minimized and (2) effectively guide crash-preventative response to adverse weather conditions (i.e., the dispatch of sand trucks or the dissemination of slippery condition warnings). The advent and expanded use of Road Weather Information Systems (RWIS) - capable of providing detailed numeric data related to roadway surface, air and dew temperature and wind speed in addition to categorical information such as the presence of precipitation, road surface condition, and wind direction - shows potential for improving the identification of weather-related factors contributing to low levels of safety and for improving guidance provided to response personnel during or preceding times of adverse weather. While demonstrating potential, this investigation revealed several significant issues associated with the use of RWIS data for improving adverse weather-related crash prediction and response: (1) the categorical nature of some RWIS-reported data elements limits its usefulness in guiding response actions, (2) RWIS data is limited in historical timeline and ease of accessibility, and (3) RWIS data are highly localized spatially (i.e., reporting the pavement surface status only at the location of the in-road sensor) which results in substantial discrepancies between officer-reported and RWIS-reported crash data.



Millions for research into maritime transport and the environment

Maritime transport is a major source of emissions of harmful air pollutants and carbon dioxide. In a new project, a research team from the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI) and the University of Gothenburg has received SEK 6.4...


New research programme for more efficient travel

The Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI) is playing an important role in a major new research programme to find radical solutions leading to fewer trips and more efficient travel, along with tools to enable better use of roads and...


Simulator used to practice emergency responses safely

Emergency responses of the police, ambulance, and rescue services are associated with a high risk of accidents, but practicing them in real traffic is neither safe nor permissible. A simulator-based method developed by the Swedish National Road and Transport...


Simulation of cut-in by manually driven vehicles in platooning scenarios

A study in a VTI-driving simulator has showed that a platoon will be able to handle a cut in from a manually driven car. The results of this study have recently been presented at two conferences in Japan.



The five-year anniversary of European Road Profile Users' Group (ERPUG) Forum will take place at Ramboll head quarter, Copenhagen, Denmark October 19-20, 2017.


Self-driving buses in Sweden next year?

A self-driving, fossil-free bus. This idea might become reality through a forthcoming collaborative project involving the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI), Linköping University and several other participants. The project group aim...