New safety technology demonstrated in Tennessee

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Updated Oct 15, 2010

The Commercial Motor Vehicle Technology Showcase, held Thursday, Oct. 14, at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Roadside Technology Corridor on Interstate 81 in Greene County, Tenn., featured new and emerging roadside inspection technologies designed to improve the safety performance of commercial trucks and buses.

FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro participated in the showcase, which provided a first-hand look at how new technology can assist state law enforcement during commercial motor vehicle safety inspections. FMCSA, in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Safety, Tennessee Department of Transportation, the University of Tennessee and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, organized the showcase.

“FMCSA is committed to strengthening commercial vehicle safety through the use of new technology,” said Ferro. “By providing a platform to test, evaluate and refine new enforcement technologies, we are able to clearly understand their benefits and encourage deployment on the state level.”

Among the new safety technologies demonstrated were:

• Wireless Roadside Inspection (WRI): Using a fixed site or mobile vehicle, the WRI is designed to conduct up to 25 times more vehicle inspections a year than the current, in-person inspection process. In real time, an inspector can obtain driver and carrier identity, vehicle condition and hours-of-service violations while the vehicle is traveling at highway speed.

• Smart Infrared Inspection System (SIRIS): SIRIS detects brake, wheel and tire problems by comparing infrared thermal images of wheels as the vehicle enters a weigh station. Once this technology is complete, it will use software to read thermal images and alert law enforcement if an inspection is needed.

• Performance-Based Brake Tester (PBBT): PBBT technology provides a safe, accurate and objective assessment of a vehicle’s brake force and overall performance.

• Medium Truck Duty Cycle: This safety sensor technology outfits the vehicle with brake stroke, weight and tire pressure monitoring systems that collect data designed to help researchers develop tools that determine a vehicle’s safety fitness.

• Technology In Motion Vehicle (TMV): The TMV demonstration vehicle, equipped with electronic on-board recorders, raises stakeholder awareness and increases adoption of the featured technologies.