Aurora currently has 19 member highway agencies. Benefits of membership include access to research solutions focused on immediate needs, collaboration with experts on troubleshooting and working with the public, support from RWIS staff and managers, and connections with key organizations and industry manufacturers and leaders.
Outside of full membership for state transportation agencies, there are other ways to join in Aurora’s activities depending on an organization’s needs. Associate members are primarily made up of research partners and experts in the RWIS field, while Friends of Aurora are typically industry leaders.
The Aurora full membership is designed for public-sector organizations. Full membership entitles those organizations to all the benefits of full participation in the program. Members may propose and vote on potential projects for program funding. The $25,000 annual membership fee gets compounded through Aurora to allow for more research activities than would otherwise not be possible if member agencies worked individually. Because Aurora is a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) pooled-fund project, Aurora is eligible for 100 percent state planning and research (SP & R) funding, and most agencies cover the annual membership fee with those SP&R funds. Some members have made in-kind contributions in lieu of membership fees.
The Aurora associate membership is designed for research, nonprofit public entities, such as universities and other research institutions. To become an associate member, an organization must be nominated by an active Aurora member. Associate members may attend all Aurora meetings and receive all documents and materials developed through the Aurora program on request.
Friends of Aurora
The Friends of Aurora membership is designed as an outreach initiative with private sector road weather information systems (RWIS) service entities. Their participation is intended to improve dialogue between the public- and private-sector road weather communities.
The Aurora Visitor membership is designed as an option that allows public organizations the opportunity to gain first-hand understanding of the Aurora program through attendance at one general meeting. The visitor option is intended to give potential members an option to engage with member agencies and become familiar with the program prior to becoming a full member.
The $25,000 annual membership fee would fund only minimal road weather information systems (RWIS) research and development activities for individual member agencies. Through Aurora, those funds are compounded to fund valuable initiatives that directly benefit all members.
Aurora members meet several times a year to set the agenda for RWIS research, and selected initiatives are led by “champion” member agencies. Members keep informed about progress on program initiatives and other RWIS-related activities around the world, share their agencies’ accomplishments and discuss solutions to common problems.
Other member benefits include:
- Research solutions focused on immediate state needs
- White papers, survey results, and best practice reports
- State updates among members
- Regular Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) updates
- Positions and engagement with national committees
- Collaboration with experts on troubleshooting, managing data, and informing the public
- Connected vehicle research and weather data needs
- Advanced research and blending of weather with operations and safety
- RWIS staffing and management perspective and support
- Connections with key organizations, such as FHWA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and National Severe Storm Lab (NSSL)
- Connections with industry leaders and researchers through regular meetings, conferences, workshops, and webinars