FMCSA Shows Off New CMV Inspection Technologies

New technologies demonstrated at the Commercial Motor Vehicle Technology Showcase last week in Tennessee promise to make roadside inspections faster and more comprehensive, according to FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro.

New technologies to speed up and improve roadside inspections of commercial motor vehicles were demonstrated last week by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The agency's Commercial Motor Vehicle Technology Showcase took place in Tennessee and gave law enforcement officials a look at state-of-the-art equipment for conducting safety inspections. FMCSA arranged the event with the Tennessee Department of Safety, Tennessee Department of Transportation, University of Tennessee, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

"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."

The technologies included:

  • Wireless Roadside Inspection: Using a fixed site or mobile vehicle, it is designed to conduct up to 25 times more inspections per 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 detects brake, wheel, and tire problems by comparing infrared thermal images of wheels as the vehicle enters a weigh station. Its software will read thermal images and alert law enforcement if an inspection is needed.
  • Performance-Based Brake Tester: PBBT technology assesses a vehicle's brake force and overall performance.
  • Medium Truck Duty Cycle: This 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.

A Technology In Motion Vehicle, a demonstration vehicle equipped with electronic on-board recorders, is used to raise stakeholder awareness and increase the adoption of the featured technologies.

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