Anuj Sharmaanujs@iastate.edu email >
Research Scientist and Leader, REACTOR
About the research
Winter weather and its corresponding surface conditions impact the safety and mobility of thousands of motorists annually. Highway agencies spend millions of dollars (in resources and personnel) in an effort to ensure safe and efficient travel. However, regardless of maintenance investment and activities, other factors, particularly driver behavior during imperfect conditions, can significantly impact mobility. Other innovative, cost-effective strategies may be necessary at targeted locations to better inform motorists of conditions and influence their behavior. One such strategy is dynamic advisory messaging triggered by atmospheric, surface and/or traffic conditions.
The goal of the Phase II project is to analyze traffic behavior along a specially instrumented portion of the Interstate 35 corridor under various winter weather conditions, given both the presence and absence of advisory messages. Advisory messages will be provided based on an algorithm developed in Phase I via dynamic message system (DMS) signs to southbound traffic only, triggered by measurements from existing speed sensors and surface (“friction”) sensors. While also instrumented with “friction” and speed sensors, northbound traffic will not be provided with DMS messages. The analysis will be performed directionally, along the corridor as a whole as well as at localized areas, based on the availability of traffic data and proximity to sensing equipment.