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Highways are the arteries of any city. But keeping them flowing, clean, and safe is a challenge for many councils. In 2011, leading supplier of web-based maintenance vehicle tracking and monitoring systems Exactrak challenged itself to find new ways to deliver major efficiencies.

Ordnance Survey’s digital data is helping make highway maintenance smart and connected to reduce environmental impact and running costs.

What were the challenges?

Congestion, bad weather and pollution are major challenges for city-wide transport networks – especially highways. City councils use fleets of maintenance vehicles such as gritters, gully-cleaners, and road-sweepers to keep highways flowing. Emerging smarter cities need to harness smart solutions using digital technology to help maintenance vehicles plan their routes more efficiently, identify hot spots, and be more resilient to extreme weather.

Exactrak has more than 90 local authority customers that are under considerable pressure to deliver greater operational efficiencies.

What was the solution?

The PSMA, together with OS OpenData, provides our local authority customers with the precision of OS MasterMap and screen-based maps at every level of zoom. The new system will enable huge savings in fuel, salt and vehicle wear and tear.

Mark Wilcox, General Manager, Exactrak

Exactrak developed a new, web-based solution using OS data to design precise routes, taking into account road widths, speeds, weight limits and height restrictions. It provides customers with real-time tracking, monitoring and reporting.

Pre-defined routes can be automatically loaded for in-cab route navigation, while gritters can get automated, intelligent salt spreading. Drivers can select a route and follow the navigation instructions – the salt-spreader is switched on and off automatically.

In the control room, the new user interface provides customers with vehicle position and speed, displayed on maps in real time. The application supports single and multiple screens and projection for larger control rooms.

What were the outcomes?

- Reduced environmental impact, improved operational efficiency, and savings in fuel through route optimisation.

- Improved vehicle and driver management; delivering further huge savings in fuel costs.

- Open-source ‘cloud’-based mapping delivers savings on software licence fees and management.

- Savings on salt-spreading thanks to a fully automated system and width controls.

- Full range of tabular and map-based reports; compliant with legislation for proof of activity.

The products used

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