Many over the road truck drivers know that technology can be a double edged sword. One day it’s helping them get there on schedule with traffic jam reroutes, the next it’s causing them to stop mere miles short of home due to HOS compliance.
The latest out of New York state has us wondering what side this will actually fall on. It can help, but it sounds like it can really cause some complications as well.
New York’s commercial truck inspection program is getting a lot smarter because of a 5.9 GHz Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) Real-Time Clearance system developed by Kapsch TrafficCom North America. Equipped-vehicles will be able to electronically report the driver’s identity, the fleet company’s safety record and the vehicle’s health. The system was developed for use by the New York State Department of Transportation and the New York State Thruway Authority. The piece of technology was funded through a cost-shared product development agreement with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). This project is also supporting broader efforts by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as well as many of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Connected Vehicle program goals.
“Commercial trucking is the backbone of our economy and provides the vital services of transportation and distribution to foster growth and prosperity,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA. “We are proud to join forces with Kapsch TrafficCom to develop the next generation vehicle transponder enabling increased efficiencies in both freight transportation and safety inspections.”
The key component for this project has been the development of a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Aftermarket On-Board Unit (OBU). This in-vehicle device facilitates high-speed communication with the roadside transceivers of the 5.9 GHz DSRC system. The OBU functions automatically when approaching an inspection facility, and informs the driver of needed actions with audible tones and in-cab lights, eliminating issues with driver distraction.
The DSRC system is now live at New York’s truck inspection facility outside Schodack, NY. The current phase of the pilot involves twenty participating vehicles and drivers. The system focuses on accurately identifying the driver and his driving record. Future phases will report real-time truck safety issues including brakes, service records, mileage, etc.
Chris Murray, President and CEO, Kapsch TrafficCom North America said, “We are pleased to have had the opportunity to develop this DRSC system with the New York Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and the New York State Thruway Authority (NYSTA) that provides game-changing technology that can greatly enhance traffic safety across the nation.”
DSRC systems create a technology backbone that will allow the NYSDOT to add multiple capabilities now and into the future. The real-time information capabilities provided by this type of an Intelligent Transportation System could deliver the State of New York millions of dollars in greenhouse gas emission savings, transportation corridor planning, and efficiencies in traffic management and commercial vehicle inspections.