Advanced snowplow control system that improves safety and efficiency of snow removal operations includes in-vehicle costs of $30,000 per snowplow, in-road costs of $18,000 per lane-mile, and annual maintenance costs of approximately $500 per snowplow.

7-9 June 2004
Idaho,United States

Summary Information

The RoadView research project was developed to determine the feasibility of implementing an advanced snowplow control system to improve the safety and efficiency of snow removal operations. By utilizing a variety of technologies, the project was intended to enable the snowplow operators to continue clearing roads in low visibility conditions and thereby keeping roadways open, reducing the economic impact of a storm.

The costs associated with the advanced technology system used in RoadView include both in-vehicle and in-road elements. The in-vehicle costs pertain to outfitting the snowplow with sensors, monitors, and support systems that allow the technology to provide lane positioning information and obstacle detection to the snowplow operator. The in-road costs pertain to placing magnets in the roadway which, when read by sensors in the vehicle, provide lane position information. The life expectancy of both in-vehicle and in-road technologies are expected to be five years. The total system cost is calculated by adding the in-road costs with the in-vehicle costs, which is then annualized and added with the annual maintenance costs.

The source document identified the following costs associated with the RoadView advanced snowplow control project:
Cost TypeCosts
In-vehicle: Sensors, monitors, and support systems.
$30,000/snowplow (includes installation)
In-road: Magnets in the roadway
$18,000/lane-mile (includes installation)
Maintenance: In-vehicle and in-road equipment.

Life Expectancy for both in-vehicle and in-road equipment: 5 years.

The US-12 section that begins at the Lolo Pass, located on the Montana–Idaho border, and flows to the southwest to the town of Lowell, Idaho was used as one of the four scenarios for the analysis of the RoadView technology applications. The majority of this section of roadway follows along the Lochsa River. This roadway segment consists of 76 miles of two-lane highway, requiring four snow plows. The annualized cost of deploying the RoadView technology is estimated at $ 573,200. Itemized costs are shown below.
Cost Type: US-12 ScenarioCosts
In-vehicle equipment for 4 snow plows
In-road equipment for 152 lane miles
Maintenance: In-vehicle and in-road equipment.
Annualized costs, including maintenance: [($2,856,000/5)+$2,000]

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Needs Assessment and Cost-Benefit Analysis of RoadView (TM) Advanced Snowplow Technology System

Author: Kack, David, and Eli Cuelho

Published By: Proceedings of the Sixth International Symposium on Snow Removal and Ice Control Technology, Spokane, Washington, Transportation Research Board

Source Date: 7-9 June 2004

Other Reference Number: Transportation Research Circular Number E-C063, pages 332-347


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Cost ID: 2008-00144