Remarks by Bill Bronrott
FMCSA Deputy Administrator
2013 ITS America Annual Meeting & Exposition
U.S. DOT Plenary Session
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Thank you, Greg. And thank you, Dan and Victor, for opening the discussion on heavy vehicles.
At the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, our core mission is preventing crashes, injuries and fatalities deaths involving large trucks and buses.
Our 11 Hundred employees across the country oversee a universe of a half-million registered motor carrier companies and 4 million active Commercial Driver's License holders.
It's an enormous challenge. That is why our programs, policies, enforcement efforts, educational outreach, and our investments in research and technology, tie back to 3 core safety principles:
- Raising the bar to enter the motor carrier industry;
- Requiring carriers and drivers to maintain high safety standards to operate in the industry; and
- Removing high-risk carriers, unsafe companies, drivers and vehicles from operating.
Yes, it's an enormous challenge, BUT a great equalizer that extends the collective length of our arms around CMV safety is technology – technology that is part of a vision for a 21st century intelligent transportation system that moves people and products efficiently and -- first and foremost -- safely.
Today, I’d briefly like to talk about 4 initiatives that FMCSA is pursuing to advance the use of smart technology.
At the heart of our ITS initiatives is CVISN -- short for the Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks Deployment program. The key element of this program is the electronic exchange of safety information.
CVISN enables electronic one-stop-shopping for carriers acquiring registrations and other state permits from multiple state agencies within each state.
Weigh-in-motion and truck identification technologies enable the monitoring of truck characteristics and a company’s compliance with federal and state safety and credential requirements of trucks when traveling at highway speeds past weigh stations.
Because it is impossible to physically inspect every truck that approaches the roadside inspection site, CVISN helps to raise the safety bar at the roadside by honing in on carriers with poor safety performances.
Our CVISN program provides $25 million a year to states to deploy intelligent transportation technologies that improve motor carrier productivity, efficiency and – most of all – safety.
When fully implemented, we expect CVISN to yield enormous safety gains each year of up to:
- 20,000 fewer commercial vehicle crashes;
- 250 fewer fatalities resulting from these crashes;
- 5,400 fewer injuries; and
- nearly $1 billion dollars in economic losses prevented.
States and motor carriers alike are realizing benefits from their CVISN deployments.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia are engaged in planning and implementing elements of CVISN.
Connected Vehicle Research Program
DOT’s Connected Vehicle Research Program aligns with the architecture of CVISN and enhances its capabilities.
The high-speed exchange of data between vehicles allows vehicles to “see” and “talk” to each other, enabling drivers of all vehicle types to be aware of hazards all around them.
It’s important to realize that 3 out of 4 fatal truck crashes involve a truck colliding with another vehicle while both are in motion on the roadway.
Connected vehicle technology can dramatically increase awareness and prevent many truck and bus crashes.
We look forward to continuing our work with RITA, NHTSA, and other DOT Agencies to advance this critically important project.
Alongside Vehicle-to-Vehicle is Vehicle-to-Infrastructure. The V2I technology enables vehicles to wirelessly connect to our infrastructure, allowing for streamlined safety enforcement, improved mobility and expedited freight movement.
We explore cost-beneficial V2I commercial motor vehicle applications under our Smart Roadside Program where we have partnered with FHWA’s Freight Office and RITA’s ITS Joint Program Office.
This program makes safety-related information about trucks, buses and drivers more accessible to roadside inspectors.
To support this, FMCSA’s Wireless Roadside Inspection Program fosters the development of technology to obtain this information from trucks and buses traveling at highway speeds and to process it automatically by the agency’s safety databases.
An inspection report is then generated and sent simultaneously to both the inspectors at a nearby roadside weigh station and to the respective carrier.
The net effect is enhanced safety and efficiency involving the flow of freight by safe and legal motor carriers -- by targeting enforcement to focus on unsafe or illegal operators.
FMCSA has successfully demonstrated that sensors at a truck parking lot can accurately determine the number of available spots.
FMCSA will proceed to Phase II to demonstrate technology for sending parking availability information in real time to truckers or dispatchers via states’ highway advisory radio, variable message signs, and other communications sources.
In Phase II, FMCSA will also link two truck parking areas to demonstrate whether truckers can be diverted from areas that are full to areas that have space.
Giles County Weigh Station
Yesterday, Administrator Winfree and I had the good fortune of visiting Giles County Weigh Station – at mile marker 5 northbound on Interstate 65 in Ardmore, TN – to view some of these new screening technologies.
It was exciting to see first-hand the practical application of these technologies and what they’re doing to increase safety while promoting efficiency on our highways.
The scales are equipped with Weigh-in-motion, Smart Roadside Inspection System, a Smart Infra-Red Inspection System, a Performance-Based Brake Tester and an inspection building with two covered pits.
The Giles County Station, in partnership with the Tennessee Highway Patrol, opened one year ago. In its first year, nearly 600,000 trucks have passed through the station.
It is part of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Roadside Technology Corridor – a 70-mile stretch of I-81, I-40, and I-65.
This Corridor is a series of specially equipped testing facilities – like the Giles County Weight Station – that demonstrate, test, and evaluate innovative CMV safety technologies under real-world conditions in order to improve truck and bus safety.
It’s exciting for our Agency that sites like this are opening up all over the country.
- Of the 690 fixed weigh stations – more than one-third have capabilities like the Giles County Weigh Station.
FMCSA will continue to push for the targeted application of Smart Technologies like preventive medicine by removing unsafe carriers and drivers from our roadways and saving lives.
Another FMCSA intelligent transportation initiative is the development of mobile applications to teach consumers about safe choices and practices on our roadways.
Last year I spoke about our launch of a mobile application for motorcoach safety appropriately called “SaferBus." This App delivers passenger carrier safety data directly into the hands of consumers through a handheld device, enabling them to “Look Before You Book.” And it’s FREE!
An update to the iPhone/iPad version was released just last month that incorporates improvements suggested from users around the country. And, in December, we released the SaferBus App for the Android platform that is available for free at the Google Play Store.
I want to thank ITS America for this opportunity to discuss some very promising smart transportation and safety data initiatives at FMCSA. There is a lot of work to be done, but we’re excited, ready for the challenge, and hard at work making strides for safety.
At FMCSA, we know that by working together, from government to industry, to the research and technology sector, we can make lasting safety gains on our roadways.
By wisely investing in transportation infrastructure and the smart use of technology — all of DOT works to build a stronger future for our transportation system — so that the safety of the motoring public always comes first.
Thank you very much!
# # #