Return to Search page

Search the Noteworthy Practices database

Iowa Uses Real-Time Data Integration of Snowplow Information and Roadway Safety

Summary from: Roadway Safety Data Program | Iowa’s Real-Time Data Integration of Snowplow Information and Roadway Safety | FHWA-SA-16-030

Publication Year: 2016


Background

The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) deploys about 900 snowplows each winter to plow 9,479 centerline miles of road and 25,215 lane miles of roadway. The Iowa DOT continuously seeks ways to improve winter operations and provide information to the traveling public. A current effort involves the Iowa DOT deploying the Plow Cam Project—a statewide real-time integration system. The project, started in winter 2013-2014, involves collecting up-to-date photos that create a database of road conditions.

To gather this information, the Iowa DOT used its existing communications infrastructure and the snowplows deployed on a regular basis in the winter. The process also required an iPhone (with camera and GPS), an Iowa DOT-developed app, phone charger, cigarette lighter socket and fuse, and a suction cup phone mount. The iPhone is mounted inside the front windshield of the snowplow; once activated, it automatically takes photos and accumulates data.

The information collected from the snowplow cameras is available for internal and public use. The public accesses the information through its Track A Plow web site, which provides snowplow locations, as well as up-to-date Plow Cam photos.

Read the Case Study Iowa’s Real-Time Data Integration of Snowplow Information and Roadway Safety for more detailed information.

envelope icon Email this practice to a colleague.

Contacts

Stuart Thompson
FHWA Office of Safety
202-366-8090
Stuart.Thompson@dot.gov

Publication Year: 2016

Return to Search page

Search the Noteworthy Practices database