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Where the Weather Meets the Road: A Research Agenda for Improving Road Weather Services
mation of black ice on the roadway. The proposed road weather research program will facilitate the observation and modeling of the microscale roadway environment, which will improve understanding of fog and ice formation in the complex roadway environment, and it will help roadway operators and maintainers manage these conditions with improved forecasting and vehicle telematics.
Technological solutions from the intelligent transportation systems community will provide many of the required future solutions. Open systems and common standards for vehicle systems and the road infrastructure across the entire continentwide road system will help North America remain competitive in the global marketplace. But, technology alone will not be enough to attain the full benefits of improved road weather information and services. Transportation professionals will need to continue to move more aggressively from maintaining the system to managing it proactively, and using current and forecast weather data to anticipate the effects of weather on traffic flow is absolutely necessary to do that. Very careful planning and management will be required to ensure effective application of the intelligent transportation systems, sophisticated meteorological solutions, and other technologies. Part of that effort will have to go toward planning on a longer timescale to assess the potential impacts of these and other global trends. Longer-timescale problems require longer lead times to solve, making their early detection all the more crucial. Careful planning combined with focused road weather research will help the nation overcome the transportation challenges of the coming decades.