RTMC’s Road Weather Alerts Finalist for Minnesota Tech Award

The Regional Transportation Management Center’s highway weather alert project is a finalist for the Minnesota Technology Association 2021 Tekne Awards in the Digital Transformation category.

“National Weather Service Blizzard Warnings are now automatically integrated and posted to Digital Message Signs (DMS) throughout the state, increasing timeliness and accuracy of urgent messages to motorists, enhancing safety, and improving customer service,” said Brian Kary, director of traffic operations.

In a collaboration with MNIT and SRF Consulting, MnDOT developed a software interface system that acquires weather alerts from the National Weather Service system, translates them into text messages, selects the appropriate DMS location, and posts the alert message until it expires.

A new module called the Road Weather Message System was added to MnDOT’s existing Intelligent Roadway Information System to acquire National Weather Service weather alert data (type, location, duration and severity) and generate a message for appropriate Digital Message Signs. Staff can allow the system to automatically display the alert or require an operator to review it first. Messages are monitored and updated automatically as new information is released from the weather service. Operators may modify or cancel the alerts at any time, and messages are removed automatically when an alert expires.

For the past two decades, the Tekne Awards have recognized organizations that are leading-edge innovators in science and technology throughout Minnesota. The 2021 Tekne Awards celebration on Nov. 17 will announce winners among the finalists in 13 categories.

“Each year, the Tekne Awards celebrate Minnesota’s leaders and innovators in the technology field,” said Jeff Tollefson, president and CEO of MnTech. “Even amidst an ongoing pandemic, we are excited to recognize these companies and their efforts in spearheading technology and innovation both locally and globally.”

To learn more, visit MnDOT’s Office of Research & Innovation.

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