Project Information

BiFi stands for Load bearing information through vehicle intelligence (Bärighetsinformation genom fordonsintelligens in Swedish) and is a demonstration project where the benefits, usabilities and capabilities of the system are evaluated.

The system generates forecasted, real-time and post-season information about the load bearing capacity on gravel roads. It does this by using a sensor equipped vehicle fleet to collect data on gravel roads within the chosen area. The collected data is merged with information from a road weather model that gets input from weather forecasts and VVIS-stations. The information is presented on a map and in form of forecasts or real-time information. Post-season information is generated on the fly and stored made available for download as Excel sheets.

This season the project is located in the surroundings of Örebro, Sweden. The previous season measurements took place in areas surrounding Sunne, Arvika and Kramfors.

To evaluate how the lumber industry is able to benefit from this system, close collaboration with Sveaskog is kept during the complete project scope. Sveaskog act as users, providing feedback and development ideas. Also representatives from the Swedish transport administration are part of the project.

An important key for a successful evaluation is that the system is kept online and constantly used during the complete spring thaw season.

The project is financed by the Swedish road administration and performed by Semcon AB and Klimator AB.

Project description

The purpose of this project is to evaluate the need for a system capable of detecting decreased load bearing capacity, both in form of forecasts and in real-time. The use of post season information used during maintenance planning is also evaluated.

This is done by equipping around ten postal vans with a purpose built hardware that detects surface softness on gravel roads within the chosen area. The collected surface data is then merged with data from a road weather model that gets input data from weather forecasts and VVIS-stations.

The goal of a system able to detect stretches with decreased load bearing capacity is to increase product availability for the lumber industry, decrease maintenance costs for the Swedish transport administration, increase road availability for normal traffic and decrease negative effects on the environment.

Background

Spring thawing occurs when a roads top layer melts while the bottom part is frozen due to soil frost. The frozen layer blocks water from draining and the roads stability is decreased.

Affected roads are then damaged or demolished by, amongst others, heavy lumber trucks. Today the Swedish road administration degrades or closes public roads with decreased stability. This is a financial heavy arrangement especially for the lumber industry, which gets disconnected from their products and thereby their main income. Today spring frost costs the lumber industry about 510-590 million SEK per year. The main part of these costs is spent on increasing stock sizes. The cost will increase to about 650 million SEK per year due to larger quantities of lumber and an increased use of bio-fuel.

Source: Rapport från Skogforsk (NR: 663 2008), framtagen på uppdrag av Vägverket, LRF Skogsägarna och Skogsindustrierna.


Documents available for download: (All documents are written in Swedish, please contact us to get information in English)

BiFi Presentation, BiFi Product sheet, BiFi Vision
BiFi I Final report, BiFi II Final report
BiFi Demonstrator Final report, BiFi Expanded Demonstrator Partial report 2014