The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), the research arm of the American Trucking Associations, recently announced that it is working with several groups to develop a national truck parking national information system that allows drivers and fleets to check on parking availability along an interstate corridor in real time using wireless devices. Several projects already under way could expand to include truckstops and potentially receive some funding from the Department of Transportation (DOT), according to ATRI.
Speaking at the Pegasus TransTech User Conference in Safety Harbor, Fla., ATRI Vice President Dan Murray said one project launched with the help of the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and the University of Minnesota involves two public rest areas on I-94 in Minnesota and is expected to expand over the next several months to include private truck stops.
The MnDOT system uses a network of cameras to monitor parking availability at the rest areas, identify available spaces and then notify drivers and carriers about parking availability in real time via a website, in-cab messaging, and variable message displays.
Murray said that several Wisconsin rest areas would come online later this year, and ultimately the system will extend the length of I-94, which runs 1,585 miles from Detroit, Mich., to Billings, Mont.
This article originally ran in NATSO News Weekly (NNW), NATSO's member only weekly electronic newsletter. NNW is packed with the latest updates on government and business issues affecting the truckstop and travel plaza industry.
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