Tae J. Kwon
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta
About the research
A road weather information system (RWIS) is one of the most advanced and widely used techniques for monitoring road surface conditions (RSC) over the last decade. There are two distinct types of RWIS: stationary and mobile. The stationary RWIS is generally installed in situ within or along a roadway and provides detailed and tailored weather nowcasts and forecasts. The mobile RWIS, on the other hand, is a patrol vehicle that collects RSC data as it travels along the road. The stationary RWIS provides high temporal but limited spatial coverage, while a mobile RWIS provides spatially continuous but temporally discrete measurements. While RWIS stations are the most adopted technology that transportation authorities use to monitor their vast road network, they can only be located at select areas due to budgetary constraints. It is therefore indispensable to fill those large spatial gaps that exist between stationary RWIS stations to promote safer driving conditions and lower winter road maintenance (WRM) activities cost. Furthermore, most stationary and mobile RWIS nowadays are equipped with cameras that provide users with a direct view of the road conditions being covered; however, checking the road conditions via these cameras is still being done manually, which hinders the full utilization of these rich image-based road condition data for optimizing maintenance services and improving the travel of the general public.