December 8: Pilot AVLS Program – Coming Soon

Good Afternoon,

On any given day, WCRC trucks travel to every corner of the county. We drive thousands of miles a year but have very little data related to that travel. Starting in 2023, we plan to fix that by investing in an automatic vehicle location system, commonly known as AVLS.

Based on the experiences of many of our peer agencies, we believe this technology will help in the following ways:

  1. Improve employee safety – We will be able to instantly locate an employee in a vehicle during an emergency.
  2. Route optimization – AVLS can offer suggestions of the best possible routes based on actual data, not just anecdotes. This will be especially helpful during winter.
  3. Protect our fleet – We will be able to track the location of our equipment if it is ever stolen. This would have come in handy over the Thanksgiving weekend when a woodchipper was stolen from the Chelsea Yard.
  4. Resolve public complaints with data – We will have data to support our employees in the case of a complaint from the public.

Our insurance pool has recommended the use of this technology for a number of years. Many road commissions already use AVLS, including Monroe, Ottawa, Kent, Lapeer, Genesee, Saginaw, Branch and Newaygo.

The next step in this process is to explore the various vendors and set up demonstrations of their products. Starting in January, we will start to review potential vendors with a group of internal stakeholders from each department. Once a preferred vendor has been selected, we will start with a small pilot program of vehicles. The pilot is going to be a critical step to gain employee feedback and feasibility of the technology.

We will share additional information on this program as we work through this process.

Please let Adam or me know if you have any questions.

Take care,