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City of Winston-Salem to track vehicle data

WINSTON-SALEM, NC — The City of Winston-Salem anticipates putting a new $378.9 million-dollar budget into effect on July 1, and soon after the city will be putting new equipment into effect as well.

Part of that budget is an allocation for automated vehicle locators, or AVLs.

“The AVL unit is about six inches long and about three inches wide, and it’s installed it’s just tucked up under the dashboard,” said James Mitchell, Winston-Salem’s Director of Property and Facilities Management.

Mitchell said the main objective in buying 1150 AVLs to install in 80-85% of City-owned vehicles is to save fuel by showing supervisors if employees are using vehicles efficiently or not.

“We’re realizing by identifying how the vehicles are being operated we can save fuel,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said his department buys around 8,000 gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel per week.

The AVLs will tell supervisors where cars and trucks are traveling, how fast they are going, how long they have been idling, and they will also show if the driver took a direct route or a more circuitous one.

The devices will generate emails to supervisors depending on what settings those supervisors engage.

“Supervisors can get emails that will tell them that vehicle 351 is idling and has been idling for more than 10 minutes,” Mitchell said.

According to Mitchell, the City of Winston-Salem has about 1,400-1,500 vehicles in total.

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