Blog

20 Nov
2017

Open All Hours: The Sentient Weigh Station

Tina Harron, Software Developer, IRD
Tina Harron
Software Developer, IRD

The modern weigh station has the ability for continuous data collection, both when the weigh station is open and when it is closed. The use of automated sensors and data collection techniques enables the weigh station to remain sentient on a 24/7 basis. This also builds on the concept that the weigh station can be considered as a roadside point of presence for data collection and analysis, in addition to the traditional functions of monitoring and compliance.

The continuous stream of data that can be generated by the sentient weigh station, provides the basis for creating information and analytics that lead to insights and understanding regarding local and network traffic patterns.

Due to the continuous nature of the data collection capability, the focus can be wider than just peak traffic. Data can be collected that characterizes the daily, weekly, monthly, and annual variation of traffic flow past the weigh station. Monitoring and compliance activities can also be extended to include continuous monitoring to identify trucks of interest and how the occurrence of such trucks varies over time.

This forms the basis for a scientific approach to resource allocation when the weigh station is open. Suitable times for opening can be defined against the traffic patterns, to ensure the optimum use of resources and the maximum effect of compliance monitoring. This could be extended to a networkwide basis considering multiple weigh station locations to optimize compliance monitoring and data collection – across an entire state for example.

IRD supports the operation of the weigh stations, continuous data collection and the analysis of the data to yield insight and understanding. We take our clients from data through information to insight to action. Action takes the form of suitable response strategies and optimizes planning for weigh station resources.

Our advanced sensors enable continuous data collection, and our suite of data analysis tools provides the basis for determining information and extracting insight.

Our technologies are already deployed and have been in use for a number of years and we expect that our approaches will be embedded in big data and analytics techniques in the future. We envision the definition of advanced analytics for compliance and monitoring including the following at a minimum:

  • Resource allocation required to improve compliance by a specific percentage
  • Vehicles of interest as a percentage of total traffic flow
  • Revenue related to traffic flow
  • Variation of compliance over time
  • Variation of compliance according to weigh station opening hours
  • Geographical variation of compliance

IRD is at the heart of high quality, high automation approaches to compliance and traffic monitoring. We plan to remain there in the future as we evolve our products and services in line with the changing needs of our clients. The expansion of the roadside point of presence approach will be an important element in monitoring and compliance and can also form a key element in a smart city approach. Smart cities involve the application of advanced technology to improve the quality of life in urban areas. We expect to play a central role as these programs evolve, by supporting efficient and effective use of freight transportation as part of the overall smart city picture.

Investing in roadside weigh stations with the appropriate advanced technologies, offers the ability to meet the needs of compliance and monitoring, while creating an important component in the larger picture of data collection and use on a regionwide basis.

At IRD, we have the in-depth experience and knowledge to support advanced monitoring and compliance activities using our technology solutions. We can also help you to develop a roadmap to move efficiently from today’s situation to future advanced technology applications including smart cities. We expect that our technology solutions will be integrated into a wide array of smart data management and connectivity solutions that will eventually lead to ubiquitous data collection and a rich stream of decision quality data for the smart city.

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