The City of Ann Arbor uses an automatic vehicle location (AVL) system. Anyone with a computer, tablet or smartphone can access an online map to track the work of snowplows throughout the city. This map allows viewers to see where the plows are right now and what they are doing.
FAQ on the AVL tracking application
When can I use the AVL online tracking system?
The AVL snow plow location tracking web page is always available to the public. When street snow plow and de-icing trucks are in active service, citizens may see a real-time snapshot of the street maintenance vehicle locations.
How is the AVL snow plow map designed?
The snow plow map defines each snow plow route by different colors. The major city streets are outlined in dark colors and the residential streets are shown in lighter hues. Using the magnifying glasses in the tool bar at the top of the page, users can zoom in on the map.
How can I tell if a truck is plowing or de-icing or both?
Color coded in-screen icons are used to identify and track the snow plow truck activities:
- Solid blue = ignition on
- blue with green center = salt/sand spreading
- gray center line = plow down
- solid black = ignition off
How can I identify the different trucks on the routes?
When you are using the AVL map, hover your cursor over the truck icon in the screen to show the truck type and vehicle number. In general, larger trucks are used to plow streets while smaller trucks are used to maneuver around cul-de-sacs and other tight spaces. Trucks labeled "Utilities" may need to be redirected away from plowing efforts to attend to a water main break or other critical re-assignments.
How does the city use the AVL system?
The automatic vehicle location (AVL) system allows city staff to more efficiently manage street maintenance responses to ice and snow conditions. Staff can track the location, conditions, and status of plow systems (e.g., plow blade, spreader) in real time and to create reports of vehicle activities. The AVL system also allows the city to monitor truck diagnostics such as oil level, tire pressure, speed of travel and more.