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Intelligent Transportation Systems and Winter Operations In Japan
FHWA International Technology Exchange Programs

September 2003




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.

  1. Winter Maintenance Equipment
    1. 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
    2. Designate a lead agency for equipment issues.
    3. Develop training and education material on equipment use.

  1. Measuring and Communicating Winter Road Conditions
    1. Investigate the applicability of Road Web Markup Language (RWML) for use in the United States.
    2. Further investigate the Finnish Road Administration's use of RWIS information for automated traffic management and control decisions on Highway E18.
    3. 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.
    4. Promote the use of arterial dynamic message systems (DMS), especially implementation policy.
    5. Investigate variable speed limit use based on road weather conditions.

  1. Coordinated Use of Weather Forecast Data
    1. Develop implementation guidelines for road weather standards, considering such items as performance, RWIS siting, and communications.
    2. Conduct a weather forecasting pilot project for a defined area by coordinating the needs of State, county, and city DOTs, NWS, and valueadded meteorological services.
    3. Conduct evaluations of the following:
      • Advanced weather radar algorithms
      • Snow rate/depth instrumentation
      • Travel information needs in connection with wireless Web protocols
    4. Encourage coordinated use of weather forecast data through a training and education session at an Intelligent Transportation Society of America meeting.

  1. Use of Winter Maintenance Decision Support Systems
    1. Maintain contact with other countries (i.e., Japan and European) on MDSS developments:
      • Expand national laboratory work in this area to investigate the work of other countries.
      • Seek financial support from AASHTO for this effort.
    2. Continue to document and investigate the uses of road weather and other related information by maintenance managers, traffic managers, emergency management, and drivers.

  1. Performance Evaluation of Winter Maintenance Operations
    1. 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 dictionary.
    2. Increase the U.S. role in international efforts pertaining to winter maintenance:
      • Consider a Cost 344-type effort between the United States and Canada.
      • Increase participation in PIARC activities, especially at the maintenance practitioner level.
    3. Develop a synthesis of technical papers and research on performance evaluation of winter maintenance operations.

  1. Driver Education for Winter Conditions
    1. Survey States on the timing requirements, content, and jurisdictional responsibilities for driver education on driving under wintertime conditions.
    2. Survey professional driver education programs for content related to wintertime conditions.
    3. 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, etc.
    4. Develop incentives for States to promote the use of better tires for winter road conditions.

  1. Other
    1. Develop long-term partnerships with research institutions in other countries on ITS and winter operations.
    2. Collaborate with the U.S. insurance industry on an education campaign on winter driving, safety, and property damage.
    3. Repeat the Snow and Ice Pooled Fund Cooperative Program (SICOP) project definition process.

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:

Page last modified on November 7, 2014
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