Implementation of Lane Boundary Guidance System for Snowplow Operations

Status:  Complete
Report Date:  06/27/2023


It’s often difficult for snowplow drivers to clearly see the roads they’re plowing. Snow-covered roads obscure pavement markings, and falling or blowing snow hinders visibility and can potentially obscure obstacles in the plow path. These conditions create a stressful work environment for drivers, may result in inefficient plowing and can lead to crashes or other property damage. A new lane boundary guidance system will make plowing easier, safer and more efficient. Researchers developed the system using GPS and navigation technology to locate a truck’s position in the lane and display that information in the truck’s cab. Forward-facing radar can also alert drivers to upcoming obstacles. Drivers tested the system on up to nine plows over two winter seasons in MnDOT districts and Dakota County. Driver feedback throughout the testing period guided researchers in improving the display and other system components. Overall, drivers were highly satisfied with the tool during low-visibility conditions, reporting that they experienced less stress, were better able to maintain lane position and cleared roads in fewer passes. To enable system deployment across the state, researchers have begun work to fine-tune the system and explore options for system production and operational support.

Final Deliverables:

Related Materials:

Related Research: