On September 11, 2001, a new era of security awareness emerged as a result of terrorist attacks on the United States. These attacks emphasized the critical importance of a secure national transportation system. The security of truck operations is a major component of this system. Reducing the vulnerability of truck operations is vital. Commercial motor vehicles are not only potential targets of attack, but they can also be used as a means of transferring destructive materials within the country and as weapons to attack other targets.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has been investigating methods to improve carrier security, particularly in the area of hazardous materials security. The transportation of hazardous materials is the largest security risk area within the motor carrier industry, with more than 800,000 shipments of hazardous materials transported each day in the United States. In 2004, FMCSA completed a comprehensive Hazardous Materials Security Field Operational Test (HAZMAT FOT) that included an element to test a basic untethered trailer tracking (UTT) system. This system provided trailer position and identification information to a dispatcher on a regular basis.
The House of Representatives Report 107-722, Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 2003, stated that further development of existing trailer tracking systems was essential:
Truck trailers pose a significant potential security threat since they provide an easy means to transport dangerous cargos. In addition, the inability to track freight movements causes inefficiencies in the intermodal freight transportation system, increasing operating costs and congestion, and decreasing safety, economic competitiveness, and air quality. While commercially available technology can track a trailer when it is tethered to a cab, commercially available technologies are needed to track and control an untethered trailer. Within the funds provided for FMCSA's limitation on administrative expenses and high priority initiative program, the Committee has provided the funding to leverage existing technology and develop an untethered trailer tracking and control system that will provide real-time trailer identification, location, geo-fencing, unscheduled movement notification, door sensors, and alarms.
As a result, FMCSA conducted a project to: (1) develop generic voluntary requirements for an untethered trailer tracking system using as a model a proprietary system that includes specific capabilities, and (2) field test a system that meets these requirements.
The requirements section of this document briefly describes the development of requirements for the UTT system tested in the pilot and then lists the functional requirements and constraints in detail.
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