Long before the first flakes fall from the sky many municipalities begin to prepare for the cold, icy, and snowy
conditions that inevitably lie ahead. For these state and local governments, delivering time-sensitive and
critical services to communities can be a challenge. While the first snowstorm of the season may be a site to
behold, residents grow antsy quickly and want to know when their street will be cleared and when things will
resume to normal.
During times like these, busy municipalities turn to contract labor – privately owned pick-up trucks, plows, and
other off-road vehicles – to clear smaller routes and residential neighborhoods, while city- or state-owned
plows concentrate on major thoroughfares and emergency routes.
“When Will My Street Be Cleared?”
While private contractors are a great asset to snow removal efforts, keeping tabs on their contributions to road
clearing activities can be a challenge. When communities experience heavy snow, agencies and residents need to
know which routes have been cleared, which ones are next on the schedule, and when it’s safe to travel
And here is the problem. While the city and county might have clear information on the location, speed, and
operating capacity of the vehicles they own, this information is not readily available for private contractors
in real-time. For the city and/or county this means that information sought by the public, namely the plowing
progress, location, and expectation of when their street may be cleared, is the one set of information
ostensibly unavailable to them, let alone available to the public.
One option is to equip every contractor vehicle with real-time GPS tracking systems – but installing and removing
these on an annual basis would be cost prohibitive.
Tracking Snow Clearing Efforts in Real-Time
We’ve come up with a simpler and more cost-effective alternative – SNOWiQ. The solution consists of two mobile
applications, a smartphone app for the snowplow operator, and an app for the supervisor. Addionally, there is a
public facing portal to keep constituents up-to-date on snow the removal progress. These applications work in
concert to facilitate distribution and control of assignments during and after a snowstorm.
Using these apps, city and county agencies can now assign routes to drivers, track the location, active work, and
duration of contractor support. SNOWiQ also allows agencies to analyze the received data and report on the
performance of contracted services to internal stakeholders using a map-based dashboard – giving both government
agencies and the public greater transparency into snow clearing activities. In fact, a public portal allows
residents to access snow removal statistics, the current number of active snowplows, and they can even enter
their address to see snowstorm related information pertinent to their location.
A 360-Degree Operational Picture
Having all of this information on all vehicles – public or private – also gives fleet managers an unprecedented
operational picture. Plows can be redeployed or redirected as needed and more vehicles can be added or removed,
based on resource availability, snow accumulation in particular area, and other priorities without engaging into
excessive micromanagement. Using the analytics from the app, agencies gain visibility into the efficacy of
individual snow-clearing crews.
Municipalities can also use this analysis for predictive modeling of future snowstorms and their potential
In addition, an optional API feature gives external application developers the power to build applications based
on collected data and/or integrate this information into public websites, giving much needed transparency to
both municipal stakeholders and the public.
Snow is inevitable, but with SNOWiQ, being in the know in real-time is easier than ever. The solution can also be
deployed for additional use cases such as tracking trash removal services and other civic activities.
More About SNOWiQ
SNOWiQ is powered by the TERRAiQ platform and offered to organizations on a per vehicle subscription basis as
Software as a Service. There is no hardware to acquire, no software to manage, just a simple, cloud delivered
solution leveraging the mobile computing power of the devices already in the hands of those that provide
services to our communities.
To learn more, please reach out to Jill DaSilva at firstname.lastname@example.org