Developing Test Bed Software to Qualify Plug and Play Technology


Clear Roads has been leading a Plug-and-Play Initiative to specify a universal bi-directional communications protocol for in-cab electronics, regardless of the manufacturer or service provider. Establishment of this protocol will mutually benefit Clear Roads member states and their vendors by standardizing how critical operational data are shared on modern snow and ice vehicles, namely between compatible Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) devices and anti-icing/deicing joystick and spreader controller systems.

Previous research efforts under the Clear Roads Plug-and-Play Initiative include Phase 1 and Phase 2.


The goal of this project was to develop a software suite to validate and certify candidate spreader controllers and AVL equipment for compliance with the current Clear Roads Universal In-Cab Performance Specification and Communications Protocol.


Researchers developed a software suite that includes three components:

  1. SQL database: Stores test parameters and vendor/equipment information.
  2. Web portal: Web application used by both vendors and Clear Roads members. Vendors use the portal to initiate and complete the certification process, and Clear Roads members can then view lists of compliant equipment and test results.
  3. Device test application: A Windows-based application that performs the testing, provides feedback to the user, and communicates the results to the SQL database. Vendors can download the device test application after registering through the web portal.