The GOLDEN-ICE project uses GPS+EGNOS/EDAS to track winter service vehicles in order to reduce salt quantities while enhancing safety and eCall on professional vehicles.

The severe winter of 2009/2010 resulted in high costs for several European cities for winter services. In many areas road salt was either sold out or available only at record high prices. Winter service vehicles are typically programmed to apply a fixed amount of salt per square meter. Equipping vehicles with new global positioning and control technology makes it possible to use salt more effectively greatly reducing salt needs while increasing traffic safety on winter roads.

The EU project “GOLDEN-ICE” (improvinG the efficiency Of saLt-spreaDing (de-icing) sErvices and emergeNcy call management on wInter professional vehiCles using Egnos) is currently developing an on-board unit for professional winter service vehicles. GPS+EGNOS/EDAS is used to track the vehicles at all times and control the amount of salt applied based on road conditions. Using Galileo is foreseen as a technological evolution of the GOLDEN-ICE solution. The professional on-board unit also has an eCall function to quickly and easily provide municipal authorities and emergency response centres with pinpointed accident data pertaining to the service vehicles and other vehicles observed by the drivers.

“GOLDEN-ICE saves public funds and makes an active contribution to environmental protection” says Paolo Mulassano Head of the Satellite Navigation Lab at ISMB. “At the same time we are optimising the use of EGNOS and EDAS. We are very pleased that our expertise can make a valuable contribution in this important professional sector.”

The first prototypes of the on-board unit are planned for the first quarter of 2011. The system is scheduled for real-life field testing by mid 2011 and series production by late 2011.


The grant for the European technology project GOLDEN-ICE was awarded to a five-member consortium in January 2010 through a bidding process conducted by the GSA (European GNSS Supervisory Authority) within the FP7. The consortium is coordinated by SAET srl (Italy) in charge of developing the OBU and it is complemented by

  • ARVEL industries manufacturer of professional equipment like salt spreader snow plough and special tools. ARVEL is part of the Italian Giletta spa;
  • Istituto Superiore Mario Boella – ISMB R&D institution providing expertise on GPS and Galileo;
  • Allianz OrtungsServices GmbH company providing expertise in the area of eCall;
  • Hanes s.r.o key supplier of municipal equipment in Czech Republic.

EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) is a European add-on system for satellite navigation and increases the accuracy of GPS-positions in the area of Europe. EDAS (EGNOS Data Access Service) is a data service which offers ground-based access to EGNOS data.
Both technologies will generate important benefits in the management of professional vehicle for winter services.

For the latest project news visit the project website


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Original Publication Date: Fri 30 Jul 2010