A research vehicle was equipped to collect weather data during storm events along a rural VSL corridor. The raw vehicle data were used as input into various algorithms to determine the usefulness of the data as weather observations. The collected vehicle data were compared with local RWIS data during the storm to determine the usefulness and estimated accuracy of the connected vehicle data for setting variable speed limits. This research does not include real-time data analysis; vehicle data collected during winter storm events is subsequently aggregated and analyzed.
Data was collected using a CrossChasm C5 VI OBD paired with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet equipped with OpenXC Enabler Software on 16 data collection trips, generally between Laramie and Walcott, Wyoming on I-80. The data collection system collected the following: acceleration pedal position, engine speed, steering wheel angle, transmission torque, vehicle speed, and windshield wiper status. Data from the 13 RWIS stations between Laramie and Walcott were obtained for the same time periods as the data collection trips. The RWIS data collected was air temperature, relative humidity, dew point, average wind speed, gust wind speed, precipitation accumulation, precipitation rate, visibility, surface temperature, precipitation type, precipitation intensity, and surface status.
Connected vehicle technology can provide continuous real-time information to better inform drivers and TMCs of current weather and road conditions. This report indicates that collecting vehicle data are feasible, and that technology to collect, aggregate, communicate, and analyze the data exists today. However, a major limitation in the ability to unlock this information in real time is the lack of a standard data format between vehicle makes and models. The massive amount of data collected through a road weather CV application are both the technology’s greatest challenge and advantage.