Baltimore wires fleet management
- By Eric Kulisch
- Jan 10, 2001
A new fleet management system that monitors vehicles in the field will enable
Baltimore to more efficiently clear and treat roads during winter storms,
city officials say.
The Department of Public Works hired Orbital Sciences Corp.'s Transportation
Management Systems last month to provide automatic vehicle location systems
for more than 500 trucks during the next two to three years.
Motorola Corp. will provide two-way voice and data radios that link the
vehicles to a central operations center. Installation for the first 75 vehicles
will cost about $1 million, said Robert Marsili, chief of the city's transportation
Orbital's Orbtrac-100 combines Global Positioning System satellite technology
and computer-aided dispatching software to enable supervisors to direct
snowplows where they are most needed and identify sections of roads that
have been serviced.
"To our knowledge, it's the largest automatic vehicle location application
for public works vehicles in any U.S. city," said Kevin Canney, director
of Orbtrac-100 programs for Orbital TMS.
Baltimore also is expected to outfit street sweepers, water maintenance
vehicles and other road maintenance vehicles with customized versions of
the system, Canney said.
The Orbital system also collects data such as road temperature and when
and how much salt and de-icing chemicals are being applied. It then transmits
that data to headquarters, along with location coordinates. Managers can
see on their computer screens a map showing exactly what each of their crews
If a customer complains that their street wasn't plowed, that can be confirmed
immediately, said Dave Mathison, Orbital TMS vice president and general
Information captured by the system can help officials plan how to distribute
resources for future storms, Mathison said.