The AI-powered application provides procedural recommendations based on the predicted weather impact on traffic safety for Fort Carson commuters
WASHINGTON – April 25, 2023 – Today US Ignite announces the launch of the Inclement Weather Decision Support Application at Fort Carson, Colorado, a United States Army installation. The new AI-driven application provides operational recommendations based on real-time weather and traffic conditions. It is designed to help improve efficiency, increase commuter safety, and reduce costs for the Fort Carson installation.
Colonel Sean M. Brown, the Fort Carson Garrison Commander, shared that “it was important for the application to enhance our long-established and proven decision-making processes. This technology not only adds new sources of data and learned information, but it was also developed to create a common operating picture for all stakeholders involved in key safety decisions.” Captain Kyle W. Kravitch, Fort Carson’s Artificial Intelligence for Traffic and Weather Program Manager, added “it is exciting to participate in innovative projects and demonstrate the impact of applying machine learning and artificial intelligence to such a common, yet complex problem set.”
US Ignite collaborated with Fort Carson and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center (USACE-ERDC) to identify areas where additional data and machine intelligence could improve already established weather safety procedures. In an inclement weather event, Fort Carson leadership must quickly decide between courses of action such as: keep the base open, reduce presence to mission essential personnel only, or reduce operating hours. Commuter safety must be balanced with the urgency of ongoing operations. Traditionally, decision-makers have relied exclusively on weather forecasts and observed conditions for operational decisions. With the new application, leaders gain greater visibility into actual weather impacts and roadway safety across a broader region.
"The Inclement Weather Decision Support App harnesses the power of weather and traffic data, predictive modeling, and artificial intelligence..." Natalie Myers, Program Manager at USACE-ERDC-Construction Engineering Research Laboratory
“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center is committed to leveraging cutting-edge technologies to improve the safety, resilience, and effectiveness of military installations across the country,” said Natalie Myers, Program Manager at USACE-ERDC-Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL). “The Inclement Weather Decision Support App harnesses the power of weather and traffic data, predictive modeling, and artificial intelligence to provide Fort Carson decision-makers with the best tools to respond to inclement weather appropriately. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners to develop innovative solutions that improve the lives of those who serve our country.”
The Inclement Weather Decision Support App uses weather forecast and observational data from the National Weather service as a baseline, which is consistent with the information regularly used by Fort Carson leaders. This data is supplemented by an Intellisense Micro Weather Station installed onsite by US Ignite. The Micro Weather Station data delivers a comprehensive array of environmental observations that offer greater accuracy on current and specific weather conditions at Fort Carson.
The weather data feeds the application’s algorithm, which outputs how forecasted conditions are expected to impact commuter safety in the coming hours. The algorithm helps gauge how safe it is for the regularly massive number of daily commuters to travel to Fort Carson. It considers roadway characteristics, like roadway curvature and gradient, and traffic data, like vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and average annual daily travel (AADT), along with weather data to inform the expected roadway safety at any given time.
Historic crash and traffic data provided by the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments, Colorado Department of Transportation, and other local communities were used to train the application’s AI predictive routines. US Ignite also analyzed connected vehicular data from INRIX to understand what roadways are frequently used by Fort Carson commuters. In the upcoming months, the application will be refined to include real-time connected vehicular data sources, like Wejo, Waze, and the Colorado Springs Smart Traffic Signal data.
Finally, US Ignite worked with the University of Arkansas to classify weather severity and to aggregate weather and safety data across roads most frequently used by Fort Carson commuters into a consolidated base closure decision recommendation. Over the next six months, leaders at Fort Carson will be using the application and reporting needs and ideas for improvements directly to US Ignite.
"[The app] has the potential of transforming how we approach inclement weather planning and responses, not just at Fort Carson but at other Department of Defense installations, school districts, and communities across our nation." Kyle Compton, US Ignite Smart Base Program Manager
“We are thrilled to launch the Inclement Weather Decision Support application and to continue working alongside our partners to refine and expand the app’s features,” shared Kyle Compton, US Ignite Smart Base Program Manager. “The app demonstrates the power of predictive modeling, AI, and data-driven decision-making in complementing operations and improving commuter safety. This has the potential of transforming how we approach inclement weather planning and responses, not just at Fort Carson but at other Department of Defense installations, school districts, and communities across our nation.”
USACE-ERDC and US Ignite are working on a plan that would allow the new app to be transitioned to the Army’s Virtual Testbed for Installation Mission Effectiveness (VTIME), as well as in identifying pathways to replicate and scale the solution in other installations.
The development of the Inclement Weather Decision Support App is part of an effort under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC). “Artificial Intelligence for Traffic and Weather” program is funded to advance the Army Installation Modernization Pilot Program (AIMP2, formerly known as Installations of the Future) initiatives under the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy and Environment) (ASA IE&E).
For more information on the Inclement Weather Decision Support App visit: www.us-ignite.org/program/smart-bases-and-installations/fort-carson/
About US Ignite:
US Ignite is a high‐tech nonprofit with a mission to accelerate the smart community movement. Our public-private partnership programs leverage advanced networking and data science to drive key outcomes for communities. Our work also enables new opportunities for wireless and IoT research designed to help narrow the gap between cutting‐edge experimentation and scalable, real‐world technology deployments. For more information, visit: www.us-ignite.org