The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has launched the Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Roadside Technology Corridor at a series of operational weigh and inspection stations along I-81 and I-40 in Tennessee. At these stations, FMCSA facilitates testing new truck and bus safety inspection technologies in partnership with the Tennessee Departments of Safety and Transportation, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the University of Tennessee.
The Vision for the CMV Roadside Technology Corridor is to have a series of specially equipped testing facilities at weigh stations to demonstrate, test, evaluate, and showcase innovative safety technologies under real-world conditions in order to improve commercial truck and bus safety.
Benefits of the CMV Technology Corridor are to showcase inspection technologies and highlight their systematic integration with existing enforcement operations and highway information systems by our State partners at the Tennessee Departments of Safety and Transportation.
With the Corridor, the FMCSA Office of Analysis, Research, and Technology has also established internal partnerships with the FMCSA Offices of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations, Enforcement and Compliance, and Safety Programs. The Corridor is available to these and other FMCSA offices with management support by the Office of Analysis, Research, and Technology. Data gathered from experiments and field tests along the Corridor will be used to support FMCSA enforcement and compliance programs, State safety programs, policy research, and future rulemaking activities.
The CMV Roadside Technology Corridor was launched in August 2007 at the Greene County Commercial Vehicle Inspection Station, located on southbound I-81. Another is located at the Knox County Scales on eastbound and westbound I-40 near Knoxville.
The technologies currently being tested include:
- Wireless Roadside Inspection
- Performance-Based Brake Tester
- Smart Infra-Red Inspection System
The Wireless Roadside Inspection (WRI) Program is designed to demonstrate technology that in the future will increase the number of CMV safety inspections (now at about 3,400,000 inspections per year) on par with CMV weight inspections (now at about 177,000,000 inspections per year).Currently in a pilot testing phase (the second of three phases), WRI retrieves safety data in real-time, including:
- real-time identification of driver
- real-time identification of the carrier
- real-time identification of the vehicle
- real-time (and historic) hours-of-service (driver logbook)
- real-time information about the condition of the vehicle
The major benefits expected from WRI include:
- Increased safety by decreasing the number of unsafe commercial vehicles and drivers on US roadways
- Increased efficiency by enabling up to 50 times more commercial motor vehicle inspections with the same number of enforcement personnel
- Improved motor carrier safety performance measurement by providing an automatic means to assess and record driver and vehicle inspections at congested inspection stations where safe operators are often screened for safety, but credit for a positive inspection is not always recorded due to operational constraints
- Improved motor carrier industry productivity by reducing inspection stops for safe and legal vehicles, targeting enforcement to focus on unsafe or illegal operators, and improving safety performance measures
In addition, specially equipped police cruisers, known as Mobile Enforcement Vehicles, are being tested to determine how well they can perform the same WRI functions as a fixed station. WRI will also be tested at un-staffed or virtual stations along the Corridor.
The Performance-Based Brake Tester is a device that measures brake forces at each wheel, axle, and for the vehicle as a whole in order to determine the current braking capability of a CMV. The measurement results are compared to the minimum brake performance standards that are specified in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
The Smart Infra-Red Inspection System captures and analyzes thermal images of a CMV's wheels, tires, and engine compartment in order to determine the functionality of the brakes, look for defective wheel bearings and under-inflated tires, and identify irregular hot spots in the engine compartment. The System would then provide exception-based alerts to safety inspectors if a problem is automatically detected.
The latest information on these CMV Roadside Technology Corridor projects can be found by clicking the link above to the Technology Corridor News, the newsletter of the CMV Roadside Technology Corridor.