Finnish company Vaisala has developed a mobile sensor technology that will allow road maintenance departments to access weather data from their entire network of roads.

The condition patrol technology is designed to be of particular use in winter conditions. The firm’s road and rail market segment director Antero Jarvinen said: "Vaisala is excited to offer this first-of-its-kind mobile data collection system for our road customers in cities, counties and departments of transportation around the country. We look forward to giving our US customers and the public a unique, hands-on experience with the product during the Vaisala ‘Across America’ tour."

Vaisala stated that the condition patrol technology will help meet the industry’s demands for mobile weather information. The system allows road maintenance crews to gather pavement and air temperature, road conditions, as well as road friction levels from their entire network of highways.

This data will be collected using laser and infrared sensors mounted to the back of the maintenance vehicles, as opposed to fixed spots along authorities’ road networks.

Once the data is collected, it is downloaded to a software programme, which provides recommendations to the supervisor about road treatment options, allowing them to make informed decisions to ensure the road remains safe for passing cars.

The data can be viewed by the driver or transmitted through the smartphone back to a central location, where a supervisor can see the location of the mobile weather information and make the decision of what action to take.

Vaisala plans to develop the technology to make it suitable for other weather conditions as well.


Image: The new head office of Vaisala. The company’s condition patrol technology will help road maintenance agencies in determining what needs doing during winter months .Photo: Vaisala.