Why Snow Plows?
Posted on 02.19.15

Why would a company that specializes in advanced traffic management system (ATMS) software choose to develop a solution for snow plows? It’s a good question, and one that we asked ourselves. What we found is that having an in-depth understanding of ATMS systems is critical for developing a successful AVL/MDC based winter road management system. Here’s why…

Annual winter road maintenance is a multi-million dollar undertaking for transportation systems. It is a complex operation that includes traffic, fuel, materials, equipment, and resource management. In many northern states, snow management is a significant undertaking by the Department of Transportation. In fact, often the same people who monitor traffic also monitor snow plow activity to ensure optimum traffic throughput.

During winter weather events, traffic patterns are dependent on snow plow activity. The integration of snow plow management with traffic management creates a single user interface for all traffic management activities. This unified view of the overall traffic and winter road management activity creates a more streamlined operation and greater savings.

Intelligent NETworks is designed with 26 modules that control different aspects of the traffic system, including a Snow Plow module. The Snow Plow module monitors volume of solid and liquid dispensed materials, blade positions, ambient and road temperature, vehicle location, as well as vehicle engine diagnostics, to name a few. In addition, snow plows can be equipped with cameras to provide the dispatcher with real-time visual road conditions. All of this data can then be used to update road message signs as clearing activity occurs, all through the use of one integrated ATMS.

Snow plows provide an optimum case study for ATMS and MDC systems because they utilize so many components of the ATMS. From air and road temperature, to camera images, to vehicle speed, to GPS location and much more, Intelligent NETworks provides customized and comprehensive reporting capabilities for snow plow fleets. This data can be easily scaled to meet any fleet management needs.