Adverse weather conditions have direct impacts on road traffic, principally affecting speeds and road capacity levels. From an operational point of view, it’s therefore important to know how such impacts might affect traffic conditions and provide useful information to road users.
In recent years, the availability of data, analysis and prognosis on such aspects has increased a lot because of more meteorological sensors and information technologies installed along the infrastructures.
This project was funded by CEDEX (Centro de Estudios y Experimentación de Obras Públicas) and carried out by the University of Valencia - Institute of Robotics in partnership with GIIC (Grupo de Investigación en Ingeniería de Carreteras), the Polytechnic University of Valencia, the Jaume I Univerity, CENIT, the Polytechnic University of Catalunya and the company INDRA.
The METEOSAFETY project aimed at improving road safety in case of adverse weather conditions. It analysed and developed measures and procedures which allow optimisation of the efficacy of a set of detectors, mainly composed of weather stations and warning systems.
The project also implemented a decision support system in order to automate traffic information to users when weather problems occur.
METEOSAFETY provided several results at different levels and with different functionalities.
At theoretical level it analysed the relation between weather factors, roads characteristics and traffic flow conditions in order to determine their influence on safety and comfort. The objective of this part of the research was to determine the main factors and the correlations between them as a starting point in the applied research.
At applied research level, the following action lines were identified:
- Prognosis of adverse weather conditions. The research was centred in the implementation of methods for the determination of existing and future situations of adverse weather conditions. It uses the information given by the weather stations on the road and zone radars.
- Decision Support Systems (DSS). Definition and development of an intelligent module to support the decision taking for the traffic operators. The system will use new technologies (agents, fuzzy logic, etc.) in order to select the most adequate measures of information and actuation taking into account the location, intensity and weather risk probability and traffic flows.
- Warning system based on RDS-TMC. A RDS-TMC module was developed. This system has been selected being a highly consolidated information system.
At technology integration level, the project showed the applicability of research and development used in the implementation of a prototype in order to perform a pilot test in real conditions.
Using the prototype, all elements developed are be evaluated (decision support system, control procedures of the weather stations, the prognosis module, RDS-TMS system, etc.)