Use multiple communications protocols (e.g. Cellular, Wifi, DSRC) to transfer data from mobile devices and optimize channel usage based on the use case when using Connected Vehicle systems to enhance weather observations.

Michigan DOT (MDOT) evaluated usage of environmental data in connected vehicle systems to support transportation agency management and operations.

Date Posted

Integrated Mobile Observations 3.0: Connected Vehicles for Road Weather Management - Project Summary Report

Summary Information

This project evaluated the use of weather related observations from Connected Vehicles and mobile data acquisition platforms such as Vehicle based Information and Data Acquisition System (VIDAS) to enhance transportation agency operations in Michigan. Environmental sensors were installed on Michigan DOT vehicles equipped with Connected Vehicle systems to enhance weather observations collected from fixed weather stations, and supplement data provided by other federal and state agencies across the state. The objective was to improve coverage where data gaps exist and provide more detailed information on local road weather conditions.

The solution implemented was designed to link Connected Vehicles to roadside units (RSUs) and intersection controllers, and then transmit the data to transportation management centers (TMCs). The data collected included ambient temperature, surface temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and dew point along with other vehicle data such as position, speed, and acceleration.

The size and scope of coverage was limited by requirements to have line-of-sight (LOS) Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) communications between vehicles and RSUs as well as the ability of the system to quickly process and transmit data to back-office systems.

The project demonstrated the viability of using Connected Vehicle systems and data to identify weather related threats and hazards. Combining this information with other fixed and mobile data can provide the additional coverage and details needed to ground truth local data during weather events.


  • Antennas installed on truck cabs are better than antennas installed on truck bed toppers.
  • Installers should use a consistent measurement process for collecting metadata for the locations where devices are installed on vehicles. Once installed, it is necessary to measure the locations of the sensors and tires in relation to the GPS antenna. It helps having two people doing those tasks to be more accurate.


  • Agencies should have a process for tracking shock degradation and compare to baseline for the vehicle.

Infrastructure Field Devices

  • Agencies and field personnel should ensure compatible interface and applications between RSUs and traffic signal controllers.

Mobile Devices

  • Use multiple communication protocols (e.g., Cellular, WiFi, DSRC) to transfer data from the mobile devices to back-office systems to optimize communication channels based on the type and volume of data required for each use case.