Federal and industry luminaries gathered at a Maryland truck weigh station Monday to observe the latest in wireless bypass technology.
Maryland implemented the Drivewyze system last September and has found that it helps focus its enforcement efforts, said Captain Norman Dofflemyer, commander of the Maryland State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division.
With the system, officers can wave through trucks and drivers that are safe and concentrate on those that need to be inspected, Dofflemyer said.
And small intrastate carriers can get quicker treatment and avoid repeat inspections, he said.
“Our only wish is that more trucks were equipped with the bypass system,” he said.
On hand for the demo were Anne Ferro, chief of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and Victor Mendez, chief of the Federal Highway Administration.
Also, Bill Graves, president and CEO of American Trucking Association, Stephen Keppler, executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, and Thomas Kern, executive vice president of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America.
They watched a demonstration of the wireless Drivewyze service, in which several trucks and a bus were screened against federal databases and weighed in motion as they approached the station.
When the checks came up clean, the vehicles were given the all-clear to drive past.
The service is provided wirelessly through a variety of onboard or mobile communications devices that function as Commercial Mobile Radio Service transponders.
With the system’s GPS “geo-fence” trigger, subscribers get an automatic check a couple of miles before they reach the facility.
The check can include a variety of data points, such as carrier information, vehicle identification, inspection history and the driver hours of service status as well as weight compliance.
The check is handled automatically at the weigh station through a secure cloud-based interface that IBM and Drivewyze offer state agencies at no charge.
“If the carrier or the driver has a solid safety record, and is not overweight, we can wave them through,” Dofflemyer said.
“If we see a borderline case, or poor CSA score, we may inspect driver information and logbooks, plus do a vehicle inspection.”
He added that access to the system, and the data itself, is controlled by the state agency.
Drivewyze president Brian Heath described the service as a “technology ecosystem” that offers the trucking industry an alternative to the PrePass clearance system.
While PrePass requires carriers to be vetted before they can subscribe, Drivewyze is open to all, Heath said.
It is up to the state agencies to decide what range of services they may provide Drivewyze subscribers, based on their safety data, including CSA scores, he said.
“The idea is to offer this capability to all,” Heath said.
The monthly per-driver subscription cost ranges from $12.99 for multi-state access to $7.99 for single-state access, said Tanya Roberts, vice president of marketing for Drivewyze.
“We now have 16 states participating and are working on getting more,” she said.
She also said that owner-operators as well as fleets are interested in the service.
That makes sense to Christian Schenk, senior vice president of XRS Corp., one of the Drivewyze partners on hand at the event.
“The technology levels the playing field,” he said. “Owner-operators can enjoy the benefits of bypass as easily as fleets can.”
Other technology partners at the event were PeopleNet and Zonar.