An Evaluation of the Technical and Economic Performance of Weigh-In-Motion Sensing Technology
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Deteriorating roadway conditions have drawn attention to the need to develop an accurate and practical system to control increasing excessive traffic volumes and traffic loads. In practice, traffic volumes often exceed predicted volumes, and truck overloading occurs frequently. Overloading pavements can result in premature deterioration, early or mistimed maintenance activities and eventually higher life cycle costs. As a part of an Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), especially in the area of Commercial Vehicle Operations (CVO), Weigh-In-Motion (WIM) has been focused on using state-of-the-art sensing technology to continuously collect vehicle weights, speeds, vehicle classes, and various types of traffic data as vehicles travel over a set of sensors (embedded or portable), without interruption of traffic flows. It is the process of measuring the dynamic tire forces of a moving vehicle and estimating the corresponding tire loads of the static vehicles. WIM technology is imperative for weight enforcement, road network design and management, as well as road safety. The overall purpose of this thesis is to examine the feasibility of using WIM in northern environments such as Canada’s. In response, one contribution of the thesis is to develop an economic model for WIM values that include costs due to premature pavement deterioration, benefits of weight enforcement and traffic data collection, benefits of WIM compared to conventional static weigh stations, and benefit-cost ratios of WIM values from road users and non-road users’ perspectives. Another contribution is to examine the technical performance (accuracy) of a particular WIM system. Results of field data collection and analysis are presented in this examination. This thesis also compares the advantages and disadvantages of different WIM systems, with respect to cost, accuracy, applicability, reliability, and sensitivity. Future trends and research potential of WIM are also discussed.