As part of a 10-year effort to improve technology in the safety inspection arena, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced it will be coordinating a field test to see if wireless technology can be used to conduct roadside inspections.
The focus will be on maintaining quality while providing a more efficient way of conducting inspections, enabling the compliant driver to continue on rather than stop, says Chris Flanigan, manager of the wireless roadside inspection program at FMCSA. Drivers will be able to stay at speed while the commercial mobile radio service technology actually does the inspections.
The testing will be ongoing for the next three years and will encompass approximately 1,000 trucks and 2,400 miles of roads in Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia and Mississippi. FMCSA is working together with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to choose the radio service provider, which in turn will choose carriers to take part in the evaluation process.
“[The processing system] will have to show that the system can manage the volume of data and provide a benefit to compliant carriers,” says Flanigan. The wireless system will process data from the truck, transmitting it to the inspection facility, federal and state databases, and the carrier.