Finnish developer of environmental and industrial measurement systems Vaisala has signed a five-year framework agreement with the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) to supply a minimum of 600 road weather stations that will be deployed across the country.
Vaisala’s contract with Trafikverket is worth approximately €7m (US$8m) with deliveries of the equipment scheduled for 2020–2024. In addition to the road weather stations (RWS), the agreement includes atmospheric weather sensors and road condition sensors for the detection of snow, ice, humidity and temperature on the road surface, as well as the company’s Observation Network Manager NM10 platform for remote monitoring of the network and management of road weather stations and sensors.
The internet-connected or cloud-based NM10 platform connects individual systems, sensors and devices allowing Trafikverket staff to easily monitor and control their RWS sites and access weather observation data from anywhere.
Developed to have a lifespan of 10-20 years, Vaisala’s Road Weather Station RWS200 is designed for use in all types of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and provides a complete road weather solution to improve road, rail, or airport runway winter maintenance operations.
Available with a variety of optional sensor units, the RWS200 comprises high-quality components that have been specifically designed for and tested in the harshest conditions. The RWS200’s atmospheric sensors enhance the performance of the algorithms when determining the road surface conditions and also provide additional information that can be critical to the overall driving conditions, such as alerts for heavy rain or fog.
“The new Vaisala road weather stations will replace our current system. Our objective is to be able to monitor and guide our winter maintenance activities, as well as manage traffic flow, as efficiently, effectively and safely as possible,” explained Jonas Jonsson, national manager at Trafikverket.
“To keep the roads safe and passable at all times, the pavement and atmospheric weather must be continuously monitored. Weather conditions such as snow and ice, heavy rain, fog and high winds can impact road safety in many different ways. The primary requirement of a road weather station is reliable and continuous data flow from the station. We must be able to trust the information every time we make a critical decision. The agreement with Vaisala is a result of a thorough procurement process at Trafikverket that started in 2016.”
Kenneth Hörhammer, vice president of weather and environment systems in Europe for Vaisala, commented, “We are excited to continue our collaboration with Trafikverket with this agreement. We consider a long-standing partnership to be most beneficial for both parties. Over the years, several studies and research have been done to prove that road weather technology provides a significant return on investment.
“This largely comes through operational savings of road maintenance and ITS activities, which improve mobility and increase safety of travelers. We consistently introduce new road-specific sensors that provide a level of decision support unique in the road weather market. We continue to innovate and develop new and highly relevant road weather sensors and solutions.”