(Article from April 2011 eNews)
Real-time weather information is a valuable resource for highway travelers making long distance trips, especially when they are faced with snow, ice or other challenging driving conditions. While there is plenty of weather and road information available on the Internet, it can be scattered over numerous websites, especially if a traveler’s route crosses over a state line.
Researchers at WTI have conducted several projects for Caltrans over the last few years to create traveler information tools that gather weather and road data from multiple sources and display it on a single, user-friendly website. “We’ve teamed with the California Department of Transportation to create several traveler information websites that initially served a specific region of the state and eventually the entire state,” said Doug Galarus, WTI’s Systems Engineering Development and Integration Program Manager; “but travelers planning longer trips outside the state would still have to consult another resource for the weather conditions in the next state, even if they stay on the same highway.”
Building on their previous work, Galarus, David Veneziano and the project team are currently developing a website that will display conditions for a four state region, including California, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada. This region coincides with the member states of the Western States Rural Transportation Consortium, a pooled fund effort to investigate the use of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) in rural areas. Website users will view a map that allows them to see a variety of information for a selected point along the roadway, including Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) images, road closures, weather sensor readings, or National Weather Service forecasts. The website
will also offer route planning and trip planning tools.
The project is sponsored by the FHWA, and supports the objectives of its Clarus Initiative, which seeks to alleviate the impacts of adverse weather by expanding access to accurate and timely road weather information. “Access to, and utilization of, important road weather information from Clarus through the One-Stop Shop will help both the transportation agencies and the travelers deal effectively with adverse weather conditions”, said Roemer Alfelor, project manager for FHWA.
In September 2010, WTI received a Broad Agency Announcement Award from the U.S. Department of Transportation for integrating Clarus data into the Western States One -Stop Shop for Rural of Transportation for integrating Clarus data into the Western States One -Stop Shop for Rural Traveler Information. As part of the award, WTI will present the project at the 2011 Road Weather Management Stakeholder Meeting next September.
“Tools such as these help travelers make safe driving decisions about when and where to travel,” said Veneziano; “but they can also benefit many others, including freight haulers who schedule delivery routes, and transportation agencies who assign snowplow and maintenance crews. Good road weather information makes roads safer and more productive for everybody.”
For further information, please visit: www.westernstates.org/Projects/OSS/Clarus/default.html or contact Doug Galarus.
Please view“Mobile version of Weathershare released.” for more up to date information on this project.
View the latest phase of this project at Weathershare Phase 4.