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Mich. one of three states using 'smart plow' technology

(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The Michigan Department of Transportation is rolling out a new weapon for tackling ice and snow covered roads in an effort to improve safety and save money.

Michigan is one of three states using custom designed sensors on its plow trucks.

These sensors can detect temperature and humidity as well as the road conditions.

The data is then combined with computer weather models so plow drivers know which hard hit roads need immediate attention.

"Prior to this technology, we were somewhat in the dark," said M-DOT Project Coordinator Steve Cook. "We had to guess where we were going to be; we had to rely on forecasts."

The new technology also helps crews decide whether to put sand, salt, or chemicals on the roadways.

States and cities hope they save money by reducing the amount of excess chemicals and rock salt used.