Updated: 02/03/2014 7:33 AM
Created: 01/26/2014 7:39 AM KSTP.com
By: Tom Durian
Minnesota Department of Transportation snow plow drivers are getting a new tool to battle the winter weather in the metro district. "Smart Plows" are now on the roads.
The new technology uses the standard plow trucks but takes advantage of sensors already onboard the trucks and adds a few of its own.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation says the sensors will gather information on the road conditions to help the driver lay down the right amount and type of chemical de-icer and know if a road needs to be passed over again.
The information will be matched with real time weather forecasts and relayed back to MnDOT headquarters as well.
The state has been using the technology in other parts of the state for the last few years, but this is the first year the "Smart Plows" have been used in the metro.
MnDOT spokesperson Kurt Pape says the $2,000 to $3,000 per plow cost to add equipment will be just a fraction of what the state can potentially save on chemicals by being more efficient in their snow removal efforts.