How to forecast exact driving conditions

The idea for the prototype came from Kuntotekniikka. The entrepreneur was interested in collecting real time data from the surface and different layers of the road, to better forecast slippery driving conditions. Current weather forecasts don’t assess directly the conditions on the surface of the road, and the measuring stations are too few and far in between on more remote areas. Utilizing sensor technology in the solution would be low in cost, allow fast wireless data transfer and due to it’s small size, easy and fast deployment.

The first prototypes including the technology, design, business analysis and an installation, maintenance and production plan were developed and delivered in spring of 2019. Since then Dropstick has been tested with more than 40 prototypes supplied by TEQU in real-life conditions.

Latest news about Dropstick (in Finnish):
https://www.mtvuutiset.fi/artikkeli/suomalaisyrityksen-innovaatio-parantaisi-ajoturvallisuutta-talvikeleilla-kokeilut-ovat-olleet-uskomattoman-positiivisia/7812138?fbclid=IwAR1gI_Jw2X_s8GfGEASA7TSJ8q-M9HxQ0cnksEbEceqHkNGoRjsrQSiZwS0#gs.8iajqy

Prototyped solution

System
The IoT device collects temperature information from the road structure and transmits the data via low-power LoRa radio connection to the cloud environment. Temperature data is collected from the asphalt layer of the road structure, and based on the measured temperature data, weather forecasts are made for predictive road maintenance.

Temperature profile
4 temperature measurements 
Surface, 5 cm, 10 cm and 15 cm @ Measuring range -55 °C… 125 °C 
Measurement accuracy +-0.5 °C (-10 °C to +85 °C)

Power Management
Measuring frequency adjustable
3.6 V AA-battery
Operating time approx. 3 years @ 1 measurement/hour with 2600 mAh battery
Wireless data transfer over Digita’s LoRaWAN network

Installation
TEQU considered Dropstick’s life cycle and functionality including the installation process and maintenance.

The making of Dropstick

Dropstick’s development work was part of RURAL IOT –IoT Innovations for Sensing and Positioning in Rural Areas -project. It was managed by Lapland University of Applied Sciences and funded by Regional Council of Lapland (AIKO).