Lessons Learned from a Pilot Project of an Automatic Vehicle Location System in an Urban Winter Maintenance Operations Setting

Report No: 02-R11

Published in 2002

About the report:

This report documents the lessons learned during the evolution of the Virginia Department of Transportation's pilot project to use an automatic vehicle location (AVL) system during winter maintenance operations in an urban setting. AVL is a technology that locates vehicles using a global positioning system, monitors activities associated with the vehicle, transmits the location and activity information to a remote site, and displays the information on maps that are geo-referenced. An AVL system displays real time information concerning the location and activity of vehicles and archives that information over an extended period for later analysis. The pilot project extended over three winter seasons from 1997 through 2000. Because of operational and institutional issues, system problems, and the mild winters during the life of the study, no financially quantifiable savings could be determined. The researchers concluded that AVL technology tracks vehicles performing winter maintenance operations to an acceptable degree of accuracy in a sufficiently timely manner and offered several suggestions to facilitate implementation.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • Robert A. Hanson, William M. Campenni, Daniel S. Roosevelt

Last updated: December 4, 2023

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