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

September 2003


Click on a link below to go to a specific topic in this chapter:
Implementation Plans
Winter Maintenance Equipment Review
Road Web Markup Language
Integrated Intelligent Transportation Systems Corridor Review
Environmental Sensor Station Siting Standards
National Weather Service / Department of Transportation Project
Baseline Winter Maintenance Performance Standards



The team developed a scan technology implementation plan (STIP) for each of the six applications with potential for adoption in the United States identified in Chapter Five. A brief problem statement, objectives, and output of the recommended investigation are outlined below for each implementation plan.

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Advances in vehicle-based technologies have created great potential for improving operations and reducing costs. What to implement, how to implement it, and how to connect the pieces into a system are challenges facing State and local transportation agencies. Specifically, the scanning team sees a need to develop operational concepts for advanced winter maintenance technologies for use in the United States. The following systems require further examination:

The items to be examined under each of these systems are identified in the Key Findings in Chapter Three.

The objective of this STIP is to continue the investigation of advanced winter maintenance technologies through testing and evaluation, including the study of system integration. The output of this investigation will be operational test results and implementation recommendations.

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As road weather information systems (RWIS) expand beyond use primarily by maintenance garage personnel and are incorporated into other information systems (e.g., advanced traffic management and traveler information systems), a need exists for uniformity in data formatting in support of information exchange, dissemination, and presentation. Work is under way in Japan on Road Web Markup Language (RWML), which is based on eXtensible Markup Language (XML). Related work is taking place under the ITS Standards Program. The scanning team sees a need to pursue this in greater detail by investigating the applicability of the draft RWML standard in the United States (i.e., determining the link to the National ITS Architecture and ITS Standards programs, and examining the impact on statewide information networks and dissemination systems).

The objective of this STIP is to investigate the potential functionality and benefits of RWML, including the following:

The output of this investigation will be a comprehensive road weather data object dictionary, including all types of weather-related data objects (i.e., observations, nowcasts, and forecasts of atmospheric, pavement subsurface, water level, and air quality conditions) in XML.

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Effective winter operations are a function of coordinated highway maintenance, traffic management, and traveler information. The team believes further study is needed to determine which rules of practice to employ and how best to implement technology to support these rules. Given the varying levels of deployment of such systems around the world, the team recommends starting with these systems and building from there. The following work is planned:

The objective of this STIP is to investigate integrated ITS corridors pertaining to weather-related inputs. The output of this investigation will be a system design concept (including maintenance management and traffic management functions) and a preliminary operational test plan.

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Environmental sensor stations (ESS) are a fundamental part of road weather information systems (RWIS) and are fast becoming a key observation component to others (e.g., the National Weather Service, researchers, etc.). While siting standards exist for other formal weather information systems, no such standards exist for devices installed along or near roadways. The team sees a need for development of such standards and associated guidance for implementation.

The objective of this STIP is to publish ESS siting standards and implementation guidelines. The output of this investigation will be a draft standard, operational test plan, and revised standard based on test results.

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Both the National Weather Service (NWS) and transportation agencies have public safety missions that overlap when a weather event affects the public's use of the highway system. Examples across the country demonstrate the benefits of collaboration between the NWS and State DOTs. The team sees a need to build on this beneficial working relationship by documenting success stories, promoting good practice, and identifying opportunities for cross-fertilization. Specifically, this could include the following:

The objective of this STIP is a collaborative, data-sharing effort involving FHWA, NWS, State and local DOTs, and private sector partners to improve weather information for the highway environment. The output of this investigation will be State and local DOT guidelines for institutional collaboration with local forecast offices of the NWS and private sector.

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Many DOTs are moving toward performance-based standards on winter maintenance, whether for internal assessments or contract monitoring. Some measures work better than others, and agencies have learned many lessons in the process of applying them. The team sees a need to compile these experiences and identify the circumstances under which the measures work best.

The objective of this STIP is to document domestic and international performance standards applicable to winter maintenance. The output of this investigation will be a synthesis including winter maintenance standards by road classification, if possible, and evaluation measures.

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Page last modified on November 7, 2014
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