Engineers at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland are helping to develop a new type of fog warning system in the Venice region.
The system is based on using data from land-based visibility sensors and satellite data. It will be designed to benefit regular and professional motorists, transport companies and authorities, providing reliable warning services that prevent accidents and save costs.
Fog is a frequent phenomenon in the Po Valley and constitutes a major issue for all road traffic. The new fog warning system is expected to be in demand on a larger scale in the future. Its uniqueness lies in its regionality and its integrated monitoring systems, combining data from land-based visibility sensors with satellite data. So far, 10 visibility sensors have been installed in the Venice region, with more in the pipeline.
The developers stated the forecast for the socio-economic cost-benefit ratio, comparing a project’s benefits with its costs, is 9.4, meaning that the system pays itself back 10 times over within 10 years.
Test trials are said to show the system performs well, demonstrating minimal service breaks and real-time functionality. It is claimed authorities and other user groups in the Venice region have shown interest in using the system.
The fog warning system, which is operated by ARPAV (the region’s meteorological service), is one of the pilots of the ROADIDEA project, an EU-funded programme that aims to develop ‘radical’ innovations in European transport services.