Smart winter

Improve operational decision making by collecting and integrating targeted, local weather and road surface temperature data, using small weather stations and sensors to provide granular information to decision makers who make go / no-go decisions as regard daily winter gritting operations.

  • 10 number of sensors deployed
  • 10%-15% estimated saving the solution can realise

Project description

By collecting targeted, local weather data along specific gritting routes, using small weather stations and road surface temperature sensors, better quality and more granular information can be provided to managers who make go / no-go decision to send out Winter Gritting crew. This solution solves the problem of relying on weather reports from the Met Office (a national organisation), who’s weather forecasts are based on relatively large geographic areas where road surface temperatures can vary by as much as 15◦C. The consequence of this is, in cold conditions gritters are sent out to a large area, which may not all require salt to be spread to prevent icy roads.

Using lithium battery technology, the sensors are low-cost and self-contained, using infrared technology to read road surface temperature and then utilising an innovative mix of communication technologies, including state-of-the-art wide area networks and Wi-Fi to connect to the street lighting network and report data in real-time via a cloud system. The weather stations then provide additional information about air temperature, wind speed, wind direction, rain fall and humidity. With this new source of data, Amey’s Hampshire highways maintenance services can verify weather forecasts as well as monitor road conditions in real time and base their decisions on more accurate local data. It is anticipated that this new approach could not only save the council money but also reduce the local authority’s carbon footprint, with fewer gritters out on the roads. The objective of the trial project is to test the assumption that more granular information using weather sensors will improve the quality of decision making when gritting roads.

General information

Hampshire (United Kingdom)
Hampshire County Council, SSE, Mayflower Wintersense (Birmingham University) and MetOffice

Related links

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