U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 6, 2002
Contact: Dave Longo
USDOT to Test Effectiveness of High Tech Systems For Protecting Hazardous Materials on Trucks
As part of the U.S. Department of Transportation's effort to protect the nation against terrorists, U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta today announced the start of an Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) operational test to measure the effectiveness of safety and security technologies and procedures for safeguarding hazardous materials being transported by trucks. Private and public sector participants have committed significant cost sharing for the project, in effect doubling the buying power of the $2.5 million being provided by the federal government.
"This public-private partnership will help ensure the safety and security of our highways, urban centers, national landmarks, and national institutions," Secretary Mineta said. "Successful operational testing of new technology for enhancing security may speed up use by industry and provide better protection against terrorists," Secretary Mineta said.
The purpose of the test is to assess the effectiveness of different technologies and procedures and determine the costs and benefits of each to the safety and security of hazardous materials being transported by trucks. The test will independently assess which combination of technology and procedures is the safest and most cost-effective for protecting different types of hazardous cargo from being hijacked by terrorists.
The two-year effort will include 100 trucks equipped with a variety of existing technologies. The project will test capabilities such as biometric driver verification, off-route vehicle alerts, stolen vehicle alerts, cargo tampering alerts and remote vehicle disabling.
The USDOT has awarded the contract for this project to the Battelle Memorial Institute of Columbus, OH. The Battelle team includes the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the American Transportation Research Institute (formerly the ATA Foundation), Qualcomm, Inc., Total Security Services International, Inc., and several motor carrier companies and technology component vendors.
There are nearly 800,000 daily shipments of hazardous materials on U.S. highways.
This project is a joint effort involving several USDOT agencies. Led by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the test is largely funded by the USDOT's Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (JPO). The team includes technical experts from JPO as well as from the Research and Special Programs Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, and the USDOT Office of Intermodalism.
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