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Photos: Satellites free the roads from snow and ice

Motorway gritters given a helping hand…
By Nick Heath, Contributor on
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1 of 3 Nick Heath/ZDNET

Motorway gritters given a helping hand…

Satellites are spying on the Welsh roads to keep them free of ice for motorists. The cutting-edge Masternaut Three X telematics system allows a control centre - pictured above - to track 20 gritter lorries that keep a 178km stretch of the M4 motorway in South Wales clear of snow and ice.

From the control centre The South Wales Trunk Road Agency (SWTRA) managers can deploy gritters from depots, track their movements and even record rates and densities of salt on the road surfaces.

Photo credit: SWTRA

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2 of 3 Nick Heath/ZDNET

Real-time monitoring allows gritters (pictured) to be rapidly deployed to the most heavily snow-laden stretches of motorway. It also creates an archive of gritting activity that allows the agency to weed out false claims.

Photo credit: SWTRA

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3 of 3 Nick Heath/ZDNET

Richard Jones, head of SWTRA, said in a statement: "The service will provide us with an extremely powerful and useful management tool. The service will reduce administration time and now we can simply issue the order and use the system to track the progress of the gritting vehicles."

Jones said the agency is looking at ways to develop the system further.

Photo credit: SWTRA

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