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Vienna, February 2022:

Development of real-time Winter Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS):

The development of a unique physical winter maintenance model as part of the WinterFIT I-III research projects since 2009 laid the foundations for the development of ASFINAG's Winter Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS). Within the framework of the current project WinterFIT IV, the MDSS provides real-time forecasts of road condition and winter maintenance recommendations for +12 hours on the entire motorway and motorway network in Austria. With the validation of the results in Winter 2021/22 a full operation is to be expected in Winter 2022/23.

Winter maintenance on highways in Austria (ASFINAG)

Project title

WinterFIT IV - Development of real-time Winter Maintenance Decision Support System




Research Cooperation


February 2019 to April 2023


Project lead with concept development, modeling, software development, and implementation. The validation is conducted together with TU Wien - Institute of Transportation and NIRA Dynamics as well as winter maintenance personnel of ASFINAG.

Project goals

The research project combines condition and traffic data with weather forecasts and measurement data for highly accurate road condition forecasts and optimized clearing and application rates with timing in winter road maintenance for efficient use of resources and high road safety in real-time within a forecast horizon of +12h.


The MDSS will be developed and implemented in three steps:

  • Real-time forecasting of road surface temperature and hoarfrost (2019-2020)

  • Design and implementation of real-time winter road maintenance model (2020-2021)

  • Validation and real-time operation of the winter road maintenance model (2022-2023)

Selected Impressions:

The selected overview provides just a glimpse into the developed software tool providing

  • A map with overlays of the road network, winter maintenance, sensor systems, and traffic

  • All integrated road sensors and weather stations as the basis for predictions

  • An interface for the calculation, validation, and application of the prediction models

  • The physical models for the calculation of winter maintenance effects and road condition

  • All relevant information regarding road traffic and surface condition of the highway network

  • The winter maintenance simulation and optimization for all weather scenarios

  • An automated benchmarking based on actual maintenance decisions and results

Overview MDSS with map interface and overlays (Hoffmann Consult)
Overview MDSS with road sensors and prediction models (Hoffmann Consult)

Example MDSS prediction of road surface temperature (Hoffmann Consult)

Example MDSS downscaling of road surface temperature prediction (Hoffmann Consult)

Results and Outlook

Based on the formalized holistic winter maintenance model, road sensor data (temperature, humidity, precipitation), and weather forecasts are combined to highly accurate forecasts in a time horizon of +12 hours road surface temperature, hoarfrost, and maintenance events in 248 road weather sections (SWA) on 2,250 km of highways in Austria. Together with road surface condition, traffic, and salting models, this enables hourly recalculation of resulting skid resistance and optimized application rates with deployment time for the best possible efficiency and road safety. The actual maintenance data of ASFINAG will be the basis for recalculation and automated benchmarking. The road condition is validated by measurements with the Griptester together with TU Wien and friction values of the traffic.

We would like to express our special thanks to ASFINAG for their trust in our cooperation and the possibility of implementing the winter road maintenance decision support system (MDSS).


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