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Dynamic Condition Data

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.

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Key Benefits

  • Verify forecasts on the ground and complements the infill sensors, offering a continuous reading corroborating existing data available.
  • Monitor winter treatments in real time to ensure actions taken are having an effect.
  • Enables dynamic decision making and optimal response in unforeseen/extreme weather events.
  • Provides status across the network and the direction of trend in cold weather events.
  • Savings and efficiency gains through a better understanding of how salt spread (and associated cost and emissions) is effective on your network.
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Frequently Asked Questions

What Information does this data give you?
The NIRA winter datasets utilises a trialled and tested minimum threshold of vehicles on your network to ensure data accuracy.

+ Friction readings
+ Wetness readings
+ Ambient temperature readings
+ Accurate GPS data on location of readings
+ Time of readings
What is the Data Coverage like?
Winter data is displayed on an hourly basis over a 24-hour period, so readings are provided in real-time rather than aggregated over longer time periods. This gives an active view of the friction situation. Coverage reflects where the greatest number of cars are driven such as principal networks and densely trafficked areas.
What benefit does this bring to our winter service?
Fundamentally this adds an extra layer of intelligence using anonymised, fully GDPR-compliant data directly from vehicles about their experience on the road network. This means that alongside the traditional methods of obtaining data, such as from static weather stations and cameras, you can review what is happening and identify any particular trends on different parts of the network.
How much coverage is required on the roads to generate effective readings?
NIRA state that coverage provides 45% of the total road length on primary roads, 20% on arterial roads and 4% on local roads over a sliding 24 hour window and in the UK there will be enough vehicle coverage to achieve these percentages.
How does the technology work?
The NIRA technology utilises existing onboard vehicle sensors (accelerometer and ABS), specialist NIRA software components tested in the field over many years are able to then interpret that data and provide the readings.