ATRI used a camera-based system to track parking availability for one of the studies. Source: ATRI

ATRI used a camera-based system to track parking availability for one of the studies. Source: ATRI

The American Transportation Research Institute has posted two new truck parking studies on its website that use different methods to track available capacity.

The studies were published by ATRI in conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration. The lack of available truck parking is a major issue for the trucking industry and a hot research topic for ATRI.

In the first study, Utilizing Truck GPS Data to Assess Parking Supply and Demand, ATRI presents a technical analysis that used truck GPS data to assess truck parking capacity at four Minnesota rest areas. The study looked at parking supply and demand by time-of-day and day-of-week by cross-referencing truck GPS data to identify truck activity at several rest stops.

A takeaway from the study is a consistent trend for all rest stops is to experience periods of overcrowding at some point each week. The study also found that vehicles had a harder time finding parking in the latter part of the week.

The second study, A Comprehensive System for Assessing Truck Parking Availability, details a field test conducted by ATRI and the University of Minnesota to deliver real-time truck parking information to commercial drivers through three separate delivery systems. The systems studied were: roadside changeable message signs, online, and in-cab communications systems.

To track parking availability, the team developed and deployed a multi-camera based truck parking detection system to keep track of parking capacity in real time at three state-sponsored facilities. All drivers included in the study had a positive response to increased truck parking information with many drivers saying that it significantly helped them find parking during a trip and stay compliant with hours of service regulations.

Both studies successfully demonstrated new approaches for identifying where additional truck capacity is needed and how delivering real-time information on parking availability to commercial drivers can improve their operational efficiency. 

The reports are available from ATRI at