Connected Vehicle Applications
Road Weather Connected Vehicle Applications

Research Overview

Road Weather connected vehicle applications are the next generation of applications and services that assess, forecast, and address the impacts that weather has on roads, vehicles, and travelers.  The applications and services are intended to capitalize on the previous Clarus Initiative research that has delivered a network of road weather information by integrating existing data sources.  Through additional research, technology development, and community outreach, connected vehicle Road Weather Applications research will develop greater specificity regarding the impact that weather has on roadways and promote strategies and tools that mitigate those impacts.  Such strategies will build upon decision support tools currently undergoing development, testing, and deployment (such as those developed under the Road Weather Management Program, e.g., the Clarus Regional Demonstrations and the Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS)). 

In close coordination with and cutting across the efforts under the other connected vehicle research programs, the vision for the Road Weather applications research is to broaden the foundation of road weather data to include mobile sources and to focus the analysis on improving the ability to detect and forecast road weather and pavement conditions by specific roadway links.Road Weather photo

Research Goals

  • Identify the range of sources for collecting robust data that will support road condition and pavement forecasting, specifically focusing on the incorporation of mobile data information and data from public sector mobile sources such as fleets.
  • Develop algorithms and capabilities to translate mobile data into usable weather and road condition observations.
  • Incorporate these observations into effective management systems and weather-responsive traffic management and advanced decision support tools. 

Research Questions

  • What vehicle-based or infrastructure-based data is available?  What is the data quality and validity and where are the gaps?
  • How can vehicle-based and mobile source data be processed and integrated with existing weather and road weather data to support forecasting of road and pavement conditions?
  • What are the most effective ways to convey road weather information to affect driver and operator behavior, and to incorporate it into broad safety and mobility applications?
  • What public sector applications are needed and what are their benefits?

Research Approach
The Road Weather connected vehicle applications program seeks to:

  • Improve safety by reducing crash risk due to inclement weather, increase awareness among agencies and users of the real-time conditions, and restore safer driving conditions quicker and more efficiently.
  • Increase mobility by restoring capacity, reducing delays, and creating more uniform traffic flow.
  • Increase productivity and reduce operation costs by optimizing the use of labor, pavement treatments, and equipment.

The research plan for 2010–2014 has a two- fold focus:

  • The program will continue to invest in high-risk applied research to expand the breadth and capabilities of road weather data sources, technologies, traffic management and decision support tools, and information.
  • The program will coordinate research with the Dynamic Mobility Applications, Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2)I Safety, and the Application for the Environment: Real-Time Information Synthesis (AERIS) Programs to determine how existing road weather technologies can be optimized by incorporation into the resulting applications from these programs.

The program uses a multi track approach to address the range of activities required for research:

Track 1: Technology and Application Development and Adoption

  • Identify and integrate new and expanded road weather data sources (in particular, mobile sources and State and local DOT fleets) that enhance roadway safety, capacity, and efficiency while minimizing environmental impacts.
  • Analyze the capability of existing vehicle sensors to collect road weather data.
  • Research the characteristics and quality of the data that can be retrieved from vehicles.
  • Develop algorithms and capabilities to translate mobile data into useable weather and road condition observations.
  • Assess whether existing standards for data collection need to be modified for collecting weather data.
  • Refine weather forecasting and transportation models that take advantage of these rich new data sources.

Track 2: Leverage Existing Technologies

Analyze how to maximize the use of available road weather information and technologies for greater safety and operational benefits by:

  • Integrating existing observational networks and data management systems.
  • Investigating the translational needs and formats for taking existing observational data and making it useable for dynamic mobility or environmental applications.
  • Incorporating recent advances in weather-responsive traffic management and decision support tools into operations.
  • Improving weather modeling capabilities and forecast tools, such as the road surface and atmospheric interface.
  • Enhancing mechanisms for communicating road weather information to users, including transportation officials and the public.

Track 3: Stakeholder Engagement

  • Maintain and expand the unique partnership among the public, private, and academic sectors; the transportation and weather communities; and operations and research personnel that has been developed to achieve a multi disciplinary approach to problem solving.
  • Engage with the private sector to build new services around the data and applications platforms that result from the research.
  • Enhance mechanisms for communicating road weather information to users, including transportation officials and the public.
  • Integrate road weather technologies into an information infrastructure.

Track 4: Cross-Cutting Activities

  • Enable technology transfer of effective road weather scientific and technological advances into the commercial marketplace.
  • Improve education and training of road weather information users, such as State and local transportation officials and private sector transportation contractors.
  • Coordinate with transportation weather research programs in other modes, such as aviation.

The Road Weather connected vehicle applications program will invest in applied research in partnership with industry that addresses high-risk problems whose solutions benefit both manufacturers (in terms of enhanced or new products and markets) and agencies (in terms of being able to procure state-of-the-art technologies).

The program will promote the adoption of advanced technologies, techniques, and tools such as capturing and translating vehicle data into weather and pavement observations and utilizing that data to create more sophisticated applications and integrated decision support systems. The result is a research initiative that benefits state and local agencies, private weather providers, and the traveling public.

Research Outcomes

Reducing the adverse impacts that weather conditions have on the safety and operation of the Nation’s roads.

  • Providing the technology platforms, information, tools, and resources that can help surface transportation users and managers respond to weather events with effective strategies and programs. 
  • Serving as a catalyst for the development of new products and services

Recent Research Reports

  • Road Weather Management Performance Measures: a Way to Measure Achievement [PDF]
  • Report on Hydrogen Bus Demonstrations Worldwide, 2002 – 2007 [PDF]
  • PROJECT REPORT:  Alaska-Metro/Rural Deployment Project CARS/511?  Anchorage Integration [PDF]
  • iFlorida Model Deployment Final Evaluation Report [HTML, PDF]
  • Incorporating Weather Impacts in Traffic Estimation and Prediction Systems (TREPS) [HTML, PDF]

See all at:


Research Contacts

To learn more about this research, contact:

Paul Pisano
Team Leader, Road Weather and Work Zone Management
Federal Highway Administration
(202) 366-1301


Additional ITS Resources on the Federal Highway Administration Office of Operations Website

RITA's privacy policies and procedures do not necessarily apply to external web sites.
We suggest contacting these sites directly for information on their data collection and distribution policies.