February 7, 2008

GPS Meets Snowplow

It looks like GPS and the snowplows might just be your friend in the near future. Overland Park KS department of public works is considering a system that would not only track snowplows but also in the future be able to post the results to the web. Apparently there is some concern about missing some streets, and there is definitely a concern about properly treating streets during fast moving storms where icing conditions can develop.

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“There are just a ton of good things about this,” said Dennis Banka, Lenexa’s operations manager. Lenexa has global positioning devices on 20 of its 30 snowplows. Overland Park has the devices on nine of its 46 plows. Both cities are spending roughly $20,000 each to install the technology, not counting the cost of phone service Overland Park needs to transmit the data.

Among other things, the technology can tell city officials when and where the plow is, how fast it’s moving, how much material it spread and whether the blade is up.

It leaves little room for complaints that a plow hit a car or knocked over a mailbox. The data from a snowstorm can be retrieved, so officials can verify the veracity of a complaint.

And by tracking the location of the truck, dispatchers are able to quickly redeploy the trucks to other parts of the city where plowing has not been completed.

Via Kansas City Star

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Posted by Scott Martin at February 7, 2008 6:51 AM

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