WTI is proud to announce that a National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), WTI, and Aurora Pooled Fund study relating weather conditions and roadway friction measurements has received the High Value Research award from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).
Led by NCAR’s Gerry Wiener, with WTI’s Cold Climate Operations & Systems Program Manager Laura Fay as co-PI, Roadway Friction Modeling used atmospheric data, cold laboratory testing, and machine learning to infer friction conditions in locations where monitoring isn’t available. The trained computer models will help winter maintenance professionals identify when and where to apply deicer and anti-icer treatments, improving safety for road users. “This project was an amazing opportunity,” said Fay. “Working with NCAR to merge lab and field data with machine learning to advance the use of friction data in winter maintenance operations has been a goal of mine.”
The High Value Research award is determined by the AASHTO Research Advisory Committee with guidance from state departments of transportation. Fay noted that receiving the award was great news. “We worked hard, and we’re honored to be selected by AASHTO and recommended by Montana Department of Transportation.” All 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia participate based on region – enjoying “friendly” competition, identifying shared and differing research priorities, and participating in annual AASHTO and Transportation Research Board (TRB) poster presentations.
The Roadway Friction Modeling study was made possible by the Aurora Pooled Fund research program, which is a collaborative partnership between national and international highway agencies and administered by the Center for Weather Impacts on Mobility and Safety (CWIMS) of the Institute for Transportation (InTrans) at Iowa State University. Aurora Pooled Fund research focuses on road weather information systems (RWIS) and has partnered with WTI researchers for many years.