Winter road management business ecosystem for industrial internet applications

Toni Lusikka, Pekka Leviäkangas, Heikki Konttaniemi

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference articleScientificpeer-review


This paper explores the use of Industrial Internet application to enhance winter road
maintenance. In a pilot application, data is collected and utilized from vehicle-installed
sensors, existing databases (e.g. road data), and fixed weather stations. The pilot
application WiRMa is an open data platform that connects the different data to be further
used and processed by different maintenance management applications. Vehicle-installed
sensors observe similar data as roadside weather stations: friction values, road surface
condition and temperature, air humidity and temperature. The data is used in road weather
forecasting and maintenance planning. Efficient utilization of sensor data, merging the data
with fixed station observation, and wrapping the data into usable formats and information
contents requires new approaches in organizing the winter road management. The business
ecosystem surrounding and connected to the WiRMa platform is analysed and different roles
and responsibilities are determined. An exploratory study is conducted through series of
interviews and workshops, involving all the relevant stakeholders, who are also members of
the consortium piloting the platform. The interviews are used to evaluate the relevance and
business case potential of the platform, when compared to standard approaches without a
platform connecting the actors and enabling the sharing of the same data. An ex ante costbenefit assessment is carried out in order to see how value can be captured by the
ecosystem members. This analysis is defining the members as generic entities with
specified roles, not addressing their current business as such. The results of this analysis
shows that all ecosystem actors are able to benefit from the platform, but it comes with
conditions that relate to the transactions between the members. Also the analysis shows
what capabilities and possible value co-creation and capturing methods should be
incorporated in order to keep the ecosystem alive. One of the outcomes of the analysis is ‘a
statement’ of benefits for the ecosystem. The results can be used to justify further
investments in the platform, suggesting also how the investment needs are divided between
ecosystem actors. In sum, the primary condition to realize the potential benefits of the
platform is the commitment of the ecosystem actors. Without commitments, required
conditions on transactions between the parties will not take place, as do neither the coinvestments in the platform. The multi-actor business case challenge is very much present.
Other challenges related to the developing of a working ecosystem are discussed at the end
of the paper.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2020
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
Event26th World Road Congress: Connecting cultures – Enabling economies - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Duration: 6 Oct 201910 Oct 2019


Conference26th World Road Congress
CountryUnited Arab Emirates
CityAbu Dhabi

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