DGPS-Based Gang Plowing

Gang plowing is one method used by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) to increase the productivity of snowplow operations. However, these gains in productivity often come at the expense of increased driver stress. These higher stress levels are the result of the low visibility caused by localized snow clouds created by the lead snowplow, and by anxious drivers trying to pass between the moving plows. To improve the gang plowing process, a Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS)-based gang plowing system has been developed. This system uses advanced technology to allow a trailing snowplow to automatically follow a lead snowplow at an operator-specified lateral and longitudinal offset. The system is designed to improve both safety and productivity. This report covers three areas. First, to improve driver visibility, an implementation of the virtual mirror to the left side of the trailing plow is described. Second, the lateral and longitudinal performance of a two-vehicle gang on Minnesota Trunk Highway 101 is described. Third, a system architecture for gangs of more than two vehicles is proposed, and its potential performance is documented through simulation. Finally, recommendations for further research and other potential applications are provided.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

    Department of Mechanical Engineering, 111 Church Street, SE
    Minneapolis, MN  United States  55455

    Minnesota Department of Transportation

    Research Services Section, 395 John Ireland Boulevard, Mail Stop 330
    St Paul, MN  United States  55155
  • Authors:
    • Alexander, Lee
    • Gorjestani, Alec
    • Shankwitz, Craig
  • Publication Date: 2005-4


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References;
  • Pagination: 37p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01596460
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: MN/RC-2005-18
  • Contract Numbers: 81655 (wo) 30
  • Created Date: Mar 21 2016 7:35AM