The City of Charlottetown is the capital of PEI, located in Canada. As a city in Canada, the municipality is responsible for plowing the road during a snowfall in order to keep the roads safe for all drivers. As safety is a top priority of the city, they realized that they were going to need a system to notify both them and their citizens when each road was plowed in order to be compliant with the minimum standards for plowing during a snowfall and avoid the liability if an accident were to occur on an unplowed road.
Traditionally, cities would monitor plow position using either magnetic sensors or hydraulic switches. When exposed to a rugged environment, these solutions do not work well. These solutions are hard to maintain and keep working when in rugged environments, and when they do break the solutions are so expensive that they almost become unfeasible to replace. A harsh environment will also lead to more inaccurate readings for the plows, which could be the difference between life or death in the middle or winter for drivers expecting plowed roads.
The system they need would have to measure when the plows were up or down. Knowing when the plow is down at a certain time in a certain location would allow the city to live-track which roads are clear for driving. Even though the city would then know which roads had been plowed, they would then need the solution to be able to present which roads had been plowed to the public.
After considering all solutions on the market, the city of Charlottetown has now implemented both the eIONs plow position monitoring system (which uses clean and efficient air pressure technology) and the public maps add-in from GoFleet as part of their operations. When there is a snowfall, the city utilizes their new eIONs system to help track which roads have been plowed more accurately than before. Whenever the plow is put in the down position, the eION transmits that data based off of its air pressure system through the city’s GO7 Geotab GPS devices and then into their fleet manager’s database.
On this database, the information of when and where the road has been plowed is transmitted to the public maps add-in. Here, the map shows the road as green when the road has been plowed between 0-4 hours ago, yellow is 4-8 hours ago and red if the road was last plowed more than 8 hours ago. They then put their shareable link for the public map on their city website, allowing them to present the road conditions to the general public. Using both of these products, they were able to preserve the safety of their citizens with a solution that is both cost-effective and reliable for multi-winter use.