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Pilot Test of Automatic Vehicle Location on Snow Plows

Started: March, 2005 Ended: June, 2007 Project ID #4W0390 Status: Completed


To provide Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) with enough information to help them procure the automatic vehicle location (AVL) technology that is most appropriate for a pilot test on MDT snow plows and that would be consistent with statewide adoption for use on snow plows.


New ITS technologies can offer significant benefits to transportation agencies and customers by improving the safety, efficiency, and other aspects of the transportation system. One technology that has been used in transportation in recent years is automatic vehicle location (AVL). This technology instruments a vehicle with equipment that can be located on global positioning system (GPS) coordinates. The information on vehicle location may be supplemented with information on the vehicle’s activity or status, and may be transmitted on a real-time basis to a dispatch center to enhance management of maintenance activities, or to a database where the information could be disseminated to the general public. The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) obtained funding to help improve traveler information in the state. Part of the funding was dedicated toward a pilot test of AVL on snow plows in the state due to its broad-scale potential benefits with regard to real-time information transmission to the MDT as well as the general public. The pilot test will look at the potential benefits the technology could yield in a broad-scale implementation along with recognizing the challenges of integrating AVL within existing vehicle and communications infrastructure constraints.


Files & Documents

Sponsors & Partners

  • Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) Sponsor

Part of: Safety and Operations

Project Tagged In: ITS, Global Positioning System, Automatic vehicle location, AVL, GPS, ITS technology

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