PistenBullys are smart in the Pitztal

IoT solution from A1 Digital organises the winter service of the Hochzeiger Bergbahnen by measuring snow heights

With its extensive slopes, the ski area around the Hochzeiger cable cars in the Pitztal above Jerzens is perfect for experts, aficionados and beginners. The versatile selection of pistes leaves nothing to be desired, no matter what the demands and abilities of the skiers bring with them. Nine comfortable gondolas and chairlifts transport the ski enthusiasts to the 20 slopes with a total length of 40 km. To ensure that up to 6,000 skiers a day can find dreamlike, perfectly groomed descents, seven piste vehicles swarm night after night to turn the groomed slopes back into a white carpet. 

The length of the pistes to be prepared at night was not the only challenge that the drivers of the piste vehicles had to overcome. Until now, the employees of the Hochzeiger Bergbahnen had to laboriously coordinate their piste assignments when it had snowed at night. In order to avoid unnecessary trips and at the same time to optimise the administration effort and therefore the costs for the use of the Pistenbullys, the managers of the Hochzeiger Bergbahnen had an alarm system in mind. Using an ultrasonic snow depth sensor, the snow depth should be measured in case of snowfall and the drivers should be informed if its use is necessary.

In order to implement their project, the managers of Hochzeiger Bergbahnen used the know-how of A1 Digital International GmbH.  Through the use of the M2M winter service solution from A1 digital, the drivers of the piste vehicles are informed about the snow situation on the mountain. If the snow height sensor measures 10 cm of fresh snow, the employees are notified via SMS and can decide on an assignment. The robust M2M SIM cards installed in the measuring instruments take over the communication, which work absolutely reliably even under extreme climatic conditions (- 40° C).

The Fleet Management solution PILOT from A1 digital also enables the operators of the Hochzeiger Bergbahnen to transparently charge for their operations. The GPS on-board computers built into the snow groomers, including M2M SIM cards, automatically transmit the recorded working times, information on the operating routes and all other data relevant to invoicing in real time. The solution is administered via a modular and individually configurable web portal.

“In order to be able to better control and coordinate the operating times on the one hand and to be able to assign the deployments to different cost centres on the other hand, it was inevitable that our winter service would be digitised. With its many years of experience in the field of M2M communication, A1 Digital International GmbH has designed a solution for us that not only measures the height of the new snow and alerts the piste team at night to prepare the piste, but which also significantly reduces the administrative effort involved in processing all billing-relevant data”.

Friedrich Eiter, Operations Manager of Hochzeiger Bergbahnen Pitztal AG