AASHTO Journal

North Dakota launches Pilot ‘Track-A-Plow’ Program

The North Dakota Department of Transportation said it is launching a pilot program called "Track-A-Plow," under which it will use tracking technology in 47 of its 350 snowplows and provide the public with online information about them.

The announcement said the department will analyze the results for a year, and has plans to expand the technology to more trucks in the future.

Other state DOTs have also launched or expanded snowplow tracking in recent years, to help advise residents when area roads are being cleared. During winter, many states report that motorists crash into their plows, and are trying various methods to help reduce such accidents.

nddotlogo.jpg"We are excited to launch the Track-A- Plow program in North Dakota," said NDDOT Director Tom Sorel. "The driving element behind technology that we implement is to help motorists travel safe. This is one more piece of information that travelers can use to see what is happening on the highways and make more informed decisions when making travel plans."

The NDDOT said those 47 plow trucks are now equipped with systems that use in-truck technology to log and share data in real time. The tracking unit in each truck sends a cellular signal through the system showing where a truck is located, which direction the snowplow is traveling, average speed and when the information was updated, which is fed automatically to an online map.

The NNDOT noted that the reported information is based on cellular coverage "so there may be some areas in the state where the snowplow icon won't show up on the map temporarily."

To find out where in the state the snowplows in the pilot program are working, viewers can go to the NDDOT's website at dot.nd.gov, click on the Travel Information Map and go to a link located under the weather radar section called "Track-A-Plow (Pilot Project)."

Questions regarding this article may be directed to editor@aashtojournal.org.

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