• October 01, 2019

    Drivers saved from high wind blow-over along I-80

    PacTrans PI and Professor of Civil Engineering at Gonzaga University, Rhonda Young, was the star of a recent episode of AASHTO’s Snow and Ice Pooled Fund Cooperative Program (SICOP).

    On this episode of the podcast, titled, “Is the wind blowing in Wyoming? High wind blow-over hazard warning,” Young was brought in to discuss how up and coming CV technology can be utilized to improve roadway operations during adverse weather conditions. 

    Young also highlighted the work she had previously presented at last year’s Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in relation to the USDOT Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Project, which is currently being applied along Interstate 80 through Wyoming. 

    The project uses Pikalert, a system developed by the National Center for Atmospheric Research. It is designed to process CV data and alert drivers with high wind blow over hazard warnings in times of less than ideal weather conditions. 

    Pikalert also has the ability to provide actionable alerts to TMC operators, and forecast weather and “now-cast” surface conditions. The system has proven to be particularly helpful to commercial traffic on I-80. 

    Since its deployment, Pikalert has had numerous real-world impacts. Fleet managers and drivers along I-80 have experienced safer, more swift travel with an increase in the amount, timeliness, and quality of information they are receiving from the system. WYDOT has also seen a decrease in the number of crash induced road closures, enhanced data collection, and more efficiency in emergency management procedures as a result of this implementation. 

    The USDOT has since decided to continue to support the advancement of CV technologies and encourages other DOTs to invest in this open source project. 

    You can listen to the full podcast by clicking here.