Installation of Road Condition Monitor RCM411 to Vehicles

RCM411 installed in front of a bus with the hinged grill opened

RCM411 can be installed to almost any location in any type of vehicle. The distance to road surface can be varied from half a meter to much larger heights. Nevertheless, we recommend to install the sensor at a low position for maximizing the optical signal and producing most stable results.

Locating the sensor in the rear of a vehicle is most challenging due to turbulences, exhaust gases, and splashes from wet road surfaces or potholes. The sensor window is protected by a long tube, which has proven very valuable in keeping the sensor window clean in the worst conditions. Should some dirt get on the window, it would be convenient to enable an easy clean up.

The optimal location would be in the front of the vehicle where there is less water spray and splashes. Installation in front can be challenging without modifying some parts of the vehicle. However, many vehicles have free space behind the front grill, which would be a good location for the sensor. In buses the front grill is often openable without tools and there is an adequate space to install an RCM411 sensor as shown in the photograph below.

RCM411 sensor installed in front of a bus with the hinged grill opened
RCM411 sensor installed in front of a bus with the hinged grill opened

Buses, taxes and maintenance vehicles provide a good platform for installation of road condition sensors. These types of vehicles can be used to collect automatically road condition data to observe continuously changes in wintry road conditions. Since weather conditions change typically during hours, it may be enough to install only a few bus sensors to follow a given route with a satisfactory temporal and spatial coverage.

The mobile data is far more accurate than fixed road weather station data due to the sparse density of stations and small size of measurement spot. The data can be complemented by photographs taken by the mobile devices, which collect the data from sensors. Servicing of the sensors at the depot will save both time and expenses. Fine-tuning of the calibration may be finalized through the web site, and the system firmware will be automatically updated, when appropriate.

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