It has emerged that the U.S. Department of Transportation has joined hands with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), USA to launch a new system that would make snowplows more intelligent, thereby making winter roads safer.
Named as the Pikalert Enhanced Maintenance Decision Support System (EMDSS), the new system is an amalgam of sensor measurements from satellite and radar observations and computer weather models. Thanks to the surplus data received, the system gives an almost real time picture of road conditions. EMDSS will soon be active on all major highways across Michigan, Minnesota and Nevada. The system will provide updates every five to fifteen minutes and will enable transportation officials to identify and focus on risky patches of road, much before they are deteriorated to conditions that might lead to a mishap.
It is being said that equipping the snowplows and transportation supervisor trucks with these sensors should lead to much safer roads.
“This offers the potential to transform winter driving safety,” said NCAR scientist Sheldon Drobot, who is overseeing the system design. “It gives road crews an incredibly detailed, mile-by-mile view of road conditions. They can quickly identify the stretches where dangerous ice and snow are building up.”