New York City is rolling out next-generation technology for its snowplows as the city prepares for snow season.

The new technology – dubbed Bladerunner 2.0 – will help the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) streamline its work by centralizing the deployment and real-time tracking of snowplows, salt spreaders, and brining vehicles. The new technology replaces outdated tech first launched in 2015.

“With forecasters predicting a snowy winter, we’re revolutionizing how we track our snow operations and using new technology to keep New Yorkers safe,” said Mayor Eric Adams.

“We’ve never been more ready for snow season, thanks to our new Bladerunner 2.0 software that will allow us to better track and support our fleet of approximately 5,000 vehicles across all five boroughs,” the mayor said. “And we’re doing this in a way that is fair and equitable, so that there is no longer a system of first-, second-, and third-tier streets with different communities receiving different levels of service. Now, every street in all five boroughs is on a plow and salt route.”

According to the city, BladeRunner 2.0 features significant technology enhancements to better support snowplow, salting, cleaning, and collection operations, including:

  • Enhanced GPS tracking data for broader time windows, multiple vehicles, and extended history;
  • Google map integration to provide a modern view – with satellite and street view access – for vehicles and facilities;
  • Real-time brine progress data;
  • New visual layer data with brine coverage locations, snow pre-position points, and protected bike lane information;
  • Ability to locate vehicles of interest through proximity features and advanced time frame and location search capabilities;
  • Significantly enhanced search capabilities; and
  • A new cloud-based system to allow for more concurrent users and faster response times.

“There’s no business like snow business – and there’s no city that can come close to New York when it comes to preparing for snow season,” said DSNY Commissioner Jessica Tisch.

“As the city’s former chief information officer, I know firsthand the transformative impact that smart, innovative, technology can have on government,” she said. “BladeRunner 2.0 is a state-of-the art system that reflects this administration’s commitment to using technology to better serve this city, and I’m proud of DSNY’s continuous efforts to enhance and streamline snow cleanup operations.”

Ahead of any predicted snowfall, DSNY said it will activate its snow command center, where Bladerunner 2.0 is housed, to track operations around the city. The city further noted that all DSNY superintendents have been trained to use the system, which will be available in all 59 DSNY garages.

“New York is good to snow,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “With new investments in our snow management technology, we are ensuring that New York is second to none in winter storm preparedness. We’re readying ourselves for whatever the season throws our way.”

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs