The Gaist Global Partnerships Programme is focused on bringing the best global technologies available to the UK market - this collaboration between Gaist and Safecote forms a bespoke offering to the UK winter maintenance market making real time dynamic datasets available for the first time to local authorities and network operators.
Gaist, world-leading providers of roadscape insight and intelligence and Safecote, long-established winter service specialists, have worked in collaboration with Swedish onboard analytics company NIRA Dynamics to make aggregated real-time road information accessible to network managers, signalling a step-change in the level of intelligence available over the winter period.
Decision making by Winter Duty Managers over when and how to treat the network has traditionally been based on Road Weather Information Systems which combine weather forecast data with road temperature and live weather data from static weather stations. To increase coverage on their networks, councils have moved towards additional sensors embedded in the roads, connected by cable or mobile phone technology to automatic weather stations. Though time tested, the static limitations of these systems are well documented.
The real time datasets consist of a combination of tyre-road friction readings, ambient temperature and windscreen wiper speed from passenger vehicles traversing the road network. Road Surface Temperature is not included as part of the standard offering but is another reading that can be activated pending negotiation. These readings are all mapped using GPS and timestamped, so you have clear information at all times.
The data is an aggregation of the many NIRA technology-equipped vehicles circulating on the UK road network with many being added every year. The readings you see are never the result of data from one vehicle: there is a tested and established minimum threshold of vehicles before any readings are activated in the user view.