Pikalert CAV Demonstration

Project Details



19-643, 21-761, 22-806, 23-857






Iowa Department of Transportation

Principal Investigator
Neal Hawkins

Director Research Administration, ISU

Co-Principal Investigator
Skylar Knickerbocker

Research Scientist, CTRE

Co-Principal Investigator
Zachary Hans

Director, CWIMS

Co-Principal Investigator
Anuj Sharma

Co-Director, REACTOR

About the research

This project is part of the main Iowa Department of Transportation-sponsored project, “Iowa DOT Operations Division Cooperative Autonomous Transportation (CAT) Research Support.”

This scope is part of the Institute for Transportaton’s (InTrans) support to the Iowa DOT Operations Bureau specific to Cooperative Automated Transportation (CAT) research, applications, data analytics, demonstrations, and discovery.

InTrans will facilitate setting up the Pikalert system for Iowa DOT as a demonstration with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) as a subcontractor to InTrans. InTrans will work with Iowa DOT staff to identify how this demonstrated tool could be integrated into daily operational use.

The purpose of the Pikalert system is to provide high precision road weather forecasts and recommendations. It assesses current weather and road conditions based on observations from connected vehicles, road weather information stations, radar, and weather model analysis fields. It also forecasts future weather and road conditions out to 72 hours utilizing information from numerical weather models.

Working with the Federal Highway Administration and RITA, NCAR has developed the Pikalert System to ingest and quality-check these vehicle observations, and then combine the vehicle data with more traditional weather data (e.g., radar, satellite) to assess  and provide road condition and road hazard information.

Setting up the Pikalert system in Iowa for demonstrating strengths, weaknesses, effectiveness, and integration potential for Iowa DOT operations.