ATRI Looking to Solve Truck Parking Problem
by Apex Capital | May 22, 2013
One of the biggest challenges for weary truck drivers on the road is finding a parking spot off the highway to pull over and get some much-needed rest. However, help may be on the way for truck drivers in the Midwest.
The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) and the U.S. Department of Transportation are testing a new system that would allow truck drivers to check on the availability of nearby truck parking spaces by using a real-time communication device located in the cab of their truck.
Dan Murray, vice president of research at ATRI said at a conference it plans to first implement the program along I-94 – the interstate running from Detroit, Mich. to Billing, Mont. – before hopefully rolling out the system nationally, according to media reports.
ATRI (a unit of the American Trucking Association) and its partners set up the system by installing cameras at all the major rest areas. A central server monitors spaces to see whether they are occupied and then conveys the information to drivers through an in-cab wireless communication device truckers must purchase.
Murray said ATRI sees the lack of truck parking for drivers as a growing problem that will likely worsen. By law truckers are required to rest periodically, but to save money many states have shut down rest areas or implemented time limits on users. Additionally, freight traffic has increased in recent years and is expected to keep rising.
That means safe truck parking spaces are harder to find than ever.
Murray said the program will be implemented in stages and will hopefully start in the next few months.