Snowplow Technology Integration for Driver Assistance

Principal Investigator(s):

Max Donath, Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Project summary:

Operating a snowplow is a difficult and dangerous Task. The snowplow driver faces difficult environmental problems including icy roads, blowing and drifting snow, and vision problems due to the blowing snow, darkness etc. In addition to these problems, snowplow drivers are stressed because of long hours and the tasks required to successfully clear streets and highways. These tasks include avoiding obstacles including moving and parked cars, bridges, and signs; determining and setting the application rates of deicing agents, etc. Many of the problems faced by snowplows also affect heavy trucks, buses, ambulances, police vehicles, etc. which are also required to operate in all weather conditions. The results from the work proposed herein can also be applied to these vehicles. A three phase, one-year effort is proposed. The focus of phase one is to integrate technologies developed by the U of Mn on a working snowplow in order to demonstrate how these technologies can improve safety and productivity. Phase two is the start of a longer-term effort, aimed at addressing the deficiencies in the technology utilized in phase one and at examining other applications for this emerging technology. Although important issues are to be addressed in this research, this one-year effort will not result in a fully operational snowplow operator's assistance package. To develop a fully operational system will take additional effort on sensors, displays, GIS and GPS, improved guidance systems, human factors, etc. Phase 3 is aimed at both supplementing the proposal submitted to the IVI pooled fund snowplow study. The work here will set the stage for soliciting additional outside funding from the National IVI in the area of specialty vehicle platforms. The ITS America specialty vehicle committee has identified sixteen user services directly related to specialty vehicles. These user services include vision enhancement, forward collision and rear impact warning and avoidance, obsta

Project details:

  • Project number: 1999005
  • Start date: 05/1999
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Transportation Safety and Traffic Flow
  • Topics: Intelligent vehicles