I live in St Paul, which is arguably one of the worst plowed cities in the world. Certainly one of the worst cities that should know better! So I’m excited about the prospect of intelligent snow plows. The Times Herald reports…
Sensors are going on snowplows in an effort to continually measure road and weather conditions.
Called the Pikalert Enhanced Maintenance Decision Support System, it’s being deployed on highways across Michigan, Minnesota and Nevada, as well as on Long Island, N.Y. If EMDSS passes certain tests, the technology will be transferred to private vendors and become available to additional states in time for next winter.
The system, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation and built by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, combines the sensor measurements with satellite and radar observations and computer weather models.
The idea is to give officials a near-real time picture of road conditions.
It’s such a good idea. I suspect the hard part is that it can’t predict a season’s worth of weather so budgeting is still a wildcard, although with pinpoint instructions perhaps there’s cost saving in precision!