New York's commercial truck inspection program is getting a lot smarter because of a high-tech, real-time clearance system developed by Kapsch TrafficCom North America.

Equipped vehicles will be able to electronically report the driver's identity, the fleet company's safety record and the vehicle's health using a 5.9 GHz dedicated short range communication system. The system was developed for use by the New York State Department of Transportation and the New York State Thruway Authority and was funded through a cost-shared product development agreement with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

The key component for this project has been the development of a commercial motor vehicle aftermarket onboard unit. This in-vehicle device facilitates high-speed communication with the roadside transceivers of the 5.9 GHz DSRC system. The OBU functions automatically when approaching an inspection facility and informs the driver of needed actions with audible tones and in-cab lights.

The DSRC system is now live at New York's truck inspection facility outside Schodack, N.Y. The current phase of the pilot involves 20 participating vehicles and drivers. The system focuses on accurately identifying the driver and his or her driving record. Future phases will report real-time truck safety issues including brakes, service records and mileage.

DSRC systems create a technology backbone that will allow the NYSDOT to add multiple capabilities now and into the future. The real-time information capabilities provided by this type of an intelligent transportation system could deliver the State of New York millions of dollars in greenhouse gas emission savings, transportation corridor planning and efficiencies in traffic management and commercial vehicle inspections.

This project is also supporting broader efforts by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as well as many of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Connected Vehicle program goals. The New York State commercial vehicle inspection system is an extension of safety services now being developed under the U.S. Department of Transportation's Connected Vehicle program.

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