Transportation Systems and Winter Operations In Japan
FHWA International Technology Exchange Programs
The scanning team was provided with a wealth of information at the formal presentations,
during informal discussions and gatherings, and in written documents and materials.
Throughout the study, team members discussed the findings and their potential
applicability for ITS and winter operations in the United States. Team members
met at the end of the scanning study to review their findings and created the
following list of efforts that have potential in the United States. The observations,
findings, and recommendations are those of the scanning team and not of FHWA.
- Winter Maintenance Equipment
- Investigate and evaluate the following equipment:
- Modified truck designs with cab-over truck engine and double front
axles - Automated floating plow design
- Millimeter wave radar sensor
- Light-emitting roadside delineators
- GPS/AVL system installed on Italian snow- and ice-control equipment
- Salinity indicator sensor
- Ground view sensor
- Designate a lead agency for equipment issues.
- Develop training and education material on equipment use.
- Measuring and Communicating Winter Road Conditions
- Investigate the applicability of Road Web Markup Language (RWML) for
use in the United States.
- Further investigate the Finnish Road Administration's use of RWIS information
for automated traffic management and control decisions on Highway E18.
- Conduct testing of protocols such as wireless application protocol
(WAP) and M-mode (the U.S. complement to Japan's I-mode service) to communicate
severe weather conditions to mobile phone users.
- Promote the use of arterial dynamic message systems (DMS), especially
- Investigate variable speed limit use based on road weather conditions.
- Coordinated Use of Weather Forecast Data
- Develop implementation guidelines for road weather standards, considering
such items as performance, RWIS siting, and communications.
- Conduct a weather forecasting pilot project for a defined area by coordinating
the needs of State, county, and city DOTs, NWS, and valueadded meteorological
- Conduct evaluations of the following:
- Advanced weather radar algorithms
- Snow rate/depth instrumentation
- Travel information needs in connection with wireless Web protocols
- Encourage coordinated use of weather forecast data through a training
and education session at an Intelligent Transportation Society of America
- Use of Winter Maintenance Decision Support Systems
- Maintain contact with other countries (i.e., Japan and European) on
- Expand national laboratory work in this area to investigate the
work of other countries.
- Seek financial support from AASHTO for this effort.
- Continue to document and investigate the uses of road weather and other
related information by maintenance managers, traffic managers, emergency
management, and drivers.
- Performance Evaluation of Winter Maintenance Operations
- Follow the Cost 344 project:
- Track issuance of the final report.
- Consider joint efforts with European consortium.
- Encourage the addition of U.S. terminology to the WINTERTERM
- Increase the U.S. role in international efforts pertaining to winter
- Consider a Cost 344-type effort between the United States and
- Increase participation in PIARC activities, especially at the
maintenance practitioner level.
- Develop a synthesis of technical papers and research on performance
evaluation of winter maintenance operations.
- Driver Education for Winter Conditions
- Survey States on the timing requirements, content, and jurisdictional
responsibilities for driver education on driving under wintertime conditions.
- Survey professional driver education programs for content related
to wintertime conditions.
- Develop an AASHTO resolution to FHWA on the importance of a multidisciplinary
effort to increase public awareness of the potential dangers of driving
during winter weather using such methods as PSAs, rest area placards,
- Develop incentives for States to promote the use of better tires
for winter road conditions.
- Develop long-term partnerships with research institutions in other
countries on ITS and winter operations.
- Collaborate with the U.S. insurance industry on an education campaign
on winter driving, safety, and property damage.
- Repeat the Snow and Ice Pooled Fund Cooperative Program (SICOP) project
The team further discussed the initial set of development areas with potential
application in the United States and gave several areas more priority. The team
then voted on the remaining recommended areas and only those receiving the largest
number of votes were retained. The final recommended areas were consolidated
into six applications that the team believes deserve further investigation:
- Winter maintenance equipment review
- Road Web Markup Language (RWML)
- Integrated intelligent transportation systems (ITS) corridor review
- Environmental sensor station (ESS) siting standards and implementation
- National Weather Service and Department of Transportation collaborative
- Baseline winter maintenance performance standards