Our Work: Winter Automated Reporting System

The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is tasked with keeping 12,000 miles of highway safe in the winter with a fleet of 450 snow plows. The department needed an effective way to track information related to plowing, such as plow routes, driver time, highways plowed, and materials used, in order to better manage plowing and improve overall efficiency.

The Solution

Resource Data partnered with another local tech company to design and implement ITD’s Winter Automated Reporting System (WARS). Our Boise staff provided geographic information system (GIS) expertise and business analysis.

WARS processes and displays GIS data collected from snow plows, including data related to weather conditions, areas plowed, plow blades, and materials dispensed by the plows on each route. A sensor mounted on the plows takes readings every 6 seconds. Data is stored on the plows and automatically uploaded at the end of each day.

Complex integrations allow the data to interface with the state’s existing systems, including ITD’s GIS, asset management system, payroll, and linear reference systems. A Resource Data analyst helped create interactive reporting functionality so department staff can use these internal applications to easily view, analyze, and report on snow plow data.

Of Interest

The state of Idaho, where some areas receive over 100 inches of annual snowfall, is one of the first to implement this innovative technology to track its winter maintenance efforts. While the system is fairly new, it is already expected to improve plowing effectiveness by giving state officials a clearer picture of their plowing and sanding work and the results. WARS is also expected to improve the safety of the state’s highways in the wintertime by supporting more efficient plowing, as well as integrating with systems that track information on car accidents. This allows staff to compare accident rates and increase plowing in the most problematic locations.