Washington and Delaware State Piloted Connected Vehicle-Enabled Weather Responsive Traffic Management Systems Focused on Data Sharing and Adding Mobile Road Weather Devices to Agency Vehicles.
Weather Responsive Traffic Management (WRTM) is an initiative under the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Road Weather Management Program (RWMP) that supports implementation of effective advisory, control, and treatment strategies to mitigate mobility and safety challenges due to adverse weather. It consists of strategies that include advisories, alerts and warnings, speed management, vehicle restrictions, signal timing, as well as improved incident management.
The objectives of this study were to:
- present a comprehensive review of the state of practice related to CV-WRTM implementations and other relevant efforts
- review the approaches for communicating and messaging information related to road weather, and evaluate their effectiveness in a WRTM context
- summarize the key findings of CV-WRTM research, supported by field deployments in Washington State and Delaware
- provide recommendations to help US Departments of Transportation (USDOT) integrate CV technologies with WRTM practices via a WRTM stakeholder meeting that was held with 23 State DOTs in Raleigh, NC in 2017.
As a part of this study, two State agencies, WSDOT and DelDOT implemented Connected Vehicle-Enabled Weather Responsive Traffic Management (CV-WRTM) in 2017-2018. WSDOT focused on public-private and third-party partnerships to share agency snowplow and specialty fleet data through an enhanced traveler information application programming interface (API). DelDOT focused on adding mobile road weather devices to agency vehicles to help fill gaps in data collection coverage and improve traffic management operations and expand upon traveler information. Note that the initiation of the DelDOT CV-WRTM pilot implementation project was delayed (began in the fall of 2018), therefore, full operations were not completed at the time this report was published.
The following summarizes the lessons learned from the pilot implementation in Washington State and Delaware and the WRTM stakeholder meeting that took place in Raleigh, NC in 2017.
- Plan for a project timeline that encompasses two winter seasons to accommodate proper testing and evaluation of CV-WRTM technologies. Findings from the two pilots suggested that these types of new technology projects often require more time than originally anticipated to plan, develop, deploy, test, and operate.
- Assess available resources to identify the optimal approach for integrating CV technology into the existing or planned WRTM strategies. There is more than one way to integrate CV technology into WRTM. The approach depends on every agency’s unique characteristics and their own operational reality. For example, if an agency already has a highly connected fleet, then it might be more beneficial to concentrate on expanding the number of “connected travelers” instead.
- Leverage CV technology, regardless of the availability of CV deployments in the state. Agencies can still make use of the improved datasets from the States with CV deployments to enhance the information distributed through existing technologies, such as 511, smart phone applications and websites, as well as through third-party information providers.
- Start with a small number of agency fleets. As the CV technologies are still maturing, starting with a small number of agency fleets through certain programs, such as the Integrated Mobile Observations (IMO) program or the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials V2I Connected Fleet Challenge, represents an opportunity to understand the communication methods and data architectures.
- Standardize mobile weather sensor data to ensure that weather information can be utilized by multiple linked systems. Data standards must be established so that CV technologies within a given state can adequately utilize sensor data. Standardization also allows different states to accurately interpret sensor data even when using different vendors.
- Conduct a careful review of data quality and communication interfaces that link the mobile, field and the center subsystems at a DOT when transitioning to CV-WRTM. As CV-WRTM advances, agencies will need to increase their ability to manage large streams of data, but they will also need to ensure the reliability of the communication channels that underlie the CV environment. This will improve a state DOT’s ability to manage large amounts of data and the reliability of CV communications, easing the transition to CV-WRTM.
- Support technology transfers to states that are less knowledgeable on CV technologies and advances. Regional efforts to improve knowledgeability will assist CV integration efforts, accelerating the development of CV-WRTM practices. These efforts also expand organizational resources and its ability to leverage CV technologies.