Iowa Department of Transportation
Michigan DOT, Minnesota DOT, FHWA, Boyer Ford, Bristol Co, Component Tech, Federal Signal Corp, ForceAmerica, Foseen Manufacturing, Global Sensor Systems, Innovative Warning Systems, Monroe Trucke, Navistar International, O'Halloran International, Raven I
About the research
The goals of the project are to study the feasibility of using advanced technologies from other industries to improve the efficiency and safety of winter highway maintenance vehicle operations, and to provide travelers with the level of service defined by policy during the winter season at the least cost to the taxpayers. These are priority areas for the pooled fund study sponsored by Iowa Department of Transportation, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the Michigan Department of Transportation, and the Federal Highway Administration. In Phase III of the highway maintenance concept vehicle study, we planned to evaluate the various technologies, develop benefit-cost analyses, develop user acceptance, and develop “real-time” data for storm management decision-making.
Phase III of the research study has been partially successful. The technologies such as the pavement temperature sensors, lights, and rear-obstacle alarms have proven reliability to this point. The surface pavement freezing point system, which was delivered in the spring of 2000, is scheduled for bench testing at Iowa State University as soon as the software is delivered. The SALTAR friction meter shows promise. The field tests that were performed at Wallops Island, Virginia, and North Bay, Ontario, demonstrated that the principle of continuously measuring friction and transferring those data to the vehicle management system is sound. The smaller design of the unit is also highly desirable. The friction meter, however, does have problems that need to be addressed.