Terrain Trafficability Prediction with GIS Analysis
The aim of this article is to test a GIS-based model for predicting terrain trafficability. The resistance forces restricting the movement of a forest tractor are estimated using a digital soil map, a 25 × 25-m digital elevation model (DEM) and an improved elevation model. Virtual total resistances along the 1,150-m test track were measured using the controller area network (CAN) bus-based technique. Rolling resistance prediction based on the soil type map was quite successful on frictional soils, but the predictions were clear underestimations on cohesive soils because the characteristics of Finnish soil types as substrates for vehicle motion are not well known. The 25 × 25-m DEM seems to be too inaccurate to predict the slope resistance and total resistance, whereas the results obtained with the improved DEM support the null hypothesis that the prediction is adequate enough from a terramechanical point of view and that the method could be used as a tool for predicting terrain trafficability.