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Many States Agencies Implement Technology to Assist in Their Battle Against Snow and Ice This Winter


According to a Stateline article by Jenni Bergal (DECEMBER 18, 2015): “States are turning to snow-fighting technology to help clear the roads and make them safer for motorists.” The article cites such technology as GPS tracking, photos and live video feeds, road sensors. Some agencies, use on-board weather stations. Additionally, the use of sensors in the pavement offer data regarding the road’s temperature, and whether it’s wet or dry. This offers the agency information on when to apply chemicals and the amount of chemicals needed, contributing to substantial savings.

Iowa has been on the cutting edge with sharing real-time road conditions with the public. Iowa’s agency developed a website called Track-A-Plow. It’s a website where the public can view a state wide map depicting photos and icons showing plow location, direction traveled, and whether salt/chemicals are being applied. It helps the public choose a safer travel route.

Trucks in Minnesota are equipped to compile data on atmospheric and weather conditions; as well as, air and road surface temperatures. The data is then used in an algorithms that offers recommendations on the type chemicals to use, amount to be applied and plow frequency. The recommendations are displayed all on a computer screen inside the truck cab.

Michigan also has developed a pilot project, Truck Smart Parking, that help truckers find safe parking spaces at truck stops and rest stops during snow or ice storms via websites, electronic billboards and a mobile app.

Paul Pisano, acting director of the Federal Highway Administration’s research and development office, stated that “I absolutely believe that these technologies are helping states better manage the roads, and provide a safer driving environment and a more effective and efficient system.”


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