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DETROIT - Four states including Minnesota will be using new technology this winter that federal officials say they hope will reduce traffic crashes and save on road maintenance costs.

Sensors are going on snowplows in an effort to continually measure road and weather conditions.

The system is being deployed on highways across Michigan, Minnesota and Nevada, as well as on Long Island, N.Y. If it passes certain tests, the technology will be transferred to private vendors and become available to additional states in time for next winter.

The system is funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation and built by the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

It combines the sensor measurements with satellite and radar observations and computer weather models. The idea is to give officials a near-real time picture of road conditions.

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