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Center for Transportation Studies

Evaluation Report Volume 2: Benefit Analysis

Max Donath, Mark Nelson
November 2003
Report no. MnDOT 2004-08 1406

Abstract

The objectives of this assessment are to estimate the potential benefits of the Driver Assistive System (DAS) for winter maintenance activities, to assess and describe the potential market for the DAS technologies as well as the approximate price point at which the system would be commercially viable, and to determine where, geographically, DAS technology would be most cost-effective. Findings are based on information gathered through an extensive literature review and a series of interviews conducted with state and county maintenance engineers and supervisors, equipment vendors, system integrators, equipment procurement personnel, and individuals involved in various aspects of risk management for transportation agencies. The expected benefits of DAS on winter maintenance vehicles include a reduction in travel time, less disruption to routine travel behavior and improved safety for the traveling public during and immediately following winter weather events. Winter weather events have a substantial impact on traveler safety, economic activity, and transportation maintenance costs. The functional objective of the DAS is to provide snowplow operators a means to operate snowplows during periods of low visibility. The study assesses the issue of visibility from the perspective of both snowplow operators and maintenance engineers.

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Sponsored by: Minnesota Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration