November 30, 2022

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Traffic, Goolster | We want more automation in winter: Sunnfjord will be a test municipality

This was stated by the Swedish Road Administration in a press release.

The goal is to develop roads that ensure better and more predictable access and traffic safety, while at the same time reducing climate emissions and operating costs for winter roads, says Björn Laxforsmo, director of operations and maintenance at the Norwegian Road Administration.

Besides the national highways in the Sunnfjord, the national highways in Salten in Nordland have also been selected as test areas.

Quickly analyze the situation

With the help of laser marking and advanced image processing, salt trucks can analyze conditions up to 50 meters in front of the vehicle, thus automatically adjusting the amount of salt. The system is called AHEAD and was developed by the Swedish Klimator AB.

The extensive use of weather and road data also gives the contractor a better basis for making decisions about the operation, for example about when and how it should be salted and how crews and equipment should be allocated. This technology is called Road Condition Information (RSI), and it was also developed by Klimator.

Operations become more efficient, but climate emissions can also be reduced when salt and fuel use are reduced. Test results from Sweden show that salt amounts can be reduced by 20-30 percent.

Three-year project

Mista is responsible for operating the national roads in the two test areas, while the Swedish Road Administration is providing financial support for the pilot project to develop solutions for practical use. This testing period will extend to the next three winter seasons.

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The reason for choosing Salten & Sunfjord is that the area has a varied print and variable winter conditions. At the same time, the testing period fits well with Mista contracts on national roads in the region, the press release said.

– It is the first time in the world that this technology is used in winter operations. Intelligent winter operation using technology like this can bring significant benefits to both the environment and the climate when salt and winter running vehicles are used more efficiently, while at the same time achieving a high level of traffic safety for everyone traveling on board. Winter roads, says Ketel Dahl in Mista.