Intelligent Imaging Systems (IIS) is now supplying state departments of transportation with its IIS Smart Parking solutions intended specifically for trucks at rest stop stations.
In fact, installations were just finished in Ohio as part of the Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials (MAASTO) program. This project brings together eight Midwestern states for the first Regional Truck Parking Information Management System (TPIMS).
With IIS Smart Parking, 18 rest stops off Ohio’s Interstates 70, 75, and U.S. Route 33 were geared up with ground sensors. This covers many of the major cities in the state, including Columbus. Remarkably, these ground sensors supply information on how many parking spots are currently available at that time. Even better, that data is then broadcast in real time on highway signs so truck drivers can be apprised of the availability of parking spaces at the next rest stop.
The system was put into place along the area’s high volume freight routes through Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The underlying concept behind the system is to have truck drivers, dispatchers, and others see and reap the benefits from an integrated parking system that spans multiple states.
The Severity of the Problem of Truck Parking
This program was initiated because of the ongoing headache of truck drivers trying to locate available parking. It’s been a real thorn in their sides. In fact, the Federal Highway Administration reports that 83% of drivers take up to almost 30 minutes to secure a parking spot. With this new system in place drivers can bypass full rest stops instead of hunting for parking for 30 minutes. Plus, the signs also indicate the spots available in rest stops further along than just the one up ahead. This way drivers can make a sound judgment on when to stop, without eating up valuable time.
There is federal grant money available should other states want to seek a similar solution to rest stop truck parking problems. It’s no doubt a valuable program that can enable drivers to be more productive while simultaneously making highways safer. After all, a lot of drivers opt for illegal spots on highway shoulders or on off ramps because they can’t find parking.
So what do you all think? Is this a helpful program?