The advent of Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) technology on snowplows has opened up a world of possibilities for using data to improve winter operations. By using GPS technology to track plows’ progress along their routes, AVL provides a data set that can help agencies optimize route efficiency. Knowing a plow’s location also lets supervisors evaluate plow sensor data and adjust to changing conditions in real time. Many agencies allow the public to track plow locations online, and some go a step further, with camera feeds providing an operator’s-eye view of the road.
Clear Roads Resources
Clear Roads Case Studies on the Utilization of AVL/GPS:
Every year, Clear Roads member states share the results of pilot-testing of winter maintenance products and materials that their agencies have conducted. View product experiences for AVL for 2006-2021. Products reviewed include:
- Cirus (now CPS) GPS/AVL
Other Research and Resources
- Lifecycle Assessment Using Snowplow Trucks’ Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) Data (Utah DOT, March 2021)
- Winter Operations Decision Support Tools for the Iowa DOT Maintenance Bureau (Iowa DOT, June 2020)
- Evaluation of the GPS/AVL Systems for Snow and Ice Operations Resource Management (Ohio DOT, 2017)
- Roadway Weather Information System and Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) Coordination (Oklahoma DOT, 2011)
- Automated Vehicle Location for Road Conditioning Report (Indiana DOT, 2009)
- Pilot Test of Automatic Vehicle Location on Snow Plows (Montana DOT, 2005)
- State-of-the-Practice in Automatic Vehicle Location for Winter Maintenance Operations: A TRB paper based on a 2006 NCHRP report.
Advancements in Snowplow Technology (Minnesota DOT, 2017)