Vaisala launches web-based platform for better winter road maintenance


Finnish developer of weather, environmental, and industrial measurement systems Vaisala has launched a new automated web-based platform that enables winter road maintenance supervisors to ensure the road network is treated in the most efficient way possible.

Increased road usage, budget limitations, increasing driver expectations, and a rise in severe weather events combine to present winter road maintenance operators with challenges in keeping roads clear and safe. Vaisala has introduced Route Manager, a web-based route optimization service that significantly reduces the time and effort involved to create treatment routes based on weather hazards, network priorities, and available resources. The new Route Manager platform allows details of the road network to be imported, along with available resources, such as depot locations and vehicle capacity, to produce fully optimized routes with turn-by-turn instructions that can be easily uploaded to vehicles. Through automation and advanced algorithms, Vaisala’s Route Manager system dramatically reduces the time and effort needed to optimize and update treatment plans, helping road authorities ensure their network is treated in the most efficient way possible.

Since different weather events often require different routes, traditional manual route planning is limiting because it only covers one or two weather situations. Route Manager allows planners to create unlimited sets of routes, each based on different amounts of required treatment material with different treatment routes and actions to effectively address any weather situation. Route Manager allows users to assign ranking and priority values to every part of a road network. The system then incorporates these priorities when creating new routes to ensure the most important parts of every network are given the priority they deserve. Route Manager also allows users to quickly and easily change the resources available, add new roads or account for details such as construction projects, parked cars, or low overpasses. Route Manager is intended to make sure that the right equipment is dispatched to the right priority areas quickly and efficiently. Over time, the platform has been designed to drive continual savings and improvements by adapting to individual user’s operations to ensure continuously improved efficiency.

“Treating the road network in the most efficient way possible enables winter maintenance supervisors to maintain promised service levels and save costs,” explained Markus Melin, vice president of digital solutions for Vaisala’s weather and environment business unit. “Route Manager couples our experience in delivering route optimization services for 25 years with advanced algorithms to significantly reduce the time and effort required to create treatment routes. We will bring even more innovation to the solutions in the future, this is only the beginning.”

A pilot user of the Route Manager system, Stephen Smyth, senior manager at Transport Infrastructure Ireland, commented, “Vaisala has developed a better way to plan winter maintenance service and treatment routes. Identifying areas for increased efficiency and precise resource requirements to facilitate this has enabled me to plan effectively going forward.”

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Adam joined the company in 1994, and has been News Editor of TTT since 2009. In his other role as Circulation Manager, he helped create the original Traffic Technology International distribution list 23 years ago, and has been working on it ever since. Outside of work, he is a keen fisherman, runs a drumming band, and plays an ancient version of cricket.