During the past two years, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Joint Program Office (JPO) within the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) has been conducting a major field operational test (FOT) to assess the potential enhancement of the safety and security of hazardous materials transportation resulting from the application of various technologies. Battelle and its team of subcontractors was selected through a competitive process by FMCSA and the ITS JPO to conduct this test. This report documents the planning, execution, and results of this major field test.
The overarching goal of the FOT was to conduct a project that would demonstrate the effectiveness of certain technological solutions (remote vehicle tracking, remote vehicle disabling, off-route alert systems, etc.) in enhancing the security of hazardous materials transportation in the commercial vehicle industry. In addition, FMCSA and the ITS JPO believe conducting this operational test will speed up the deployment of these technologies in the industry. The FOT was designed to achieve this goal by providing data to quantify the security costs and benefits of an operational concept that applies technology and improved enforcement procedures to hazmat transportation.
It is important to understand the context and background leading up to the U.S. DOT taking action to procure a contract team to conduct this operational test. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, there was extremely heightened concern regarding the security related to the transportation of hazardous materials and the fear that terrorists might highjack a truck carrying hazardous materials or use it in some other fashion to commit a terrorist act. In addition, there was concern about possible attempts to obtain hazardous material endorsements to Commercial Driver's License (CDLs) under false pretenses. To address these concerns, Congress held a number of hearings on ways to improve the security in this field. Given that over 800,000 shipments of hazardous materials takes place each day of the year, this is a daunting challenge.
Not long after these hearings, Congress passed the PATRIOT Act that, among other things, mandated that applicants for a hazmat endorsement to their CDL must first undergo a comprehensive background check by the Department of Justice. The PATRIOT Act made note of the potential for technology to help facilitate and improve hazmat driver identification and verification.
In the meantime, FMCSA made over 32,000 contacts and security sensitive visits with hazardous materials carriers. These contacts and visits resulted in over 280 findings of "suspicious activity" and over 125 referrals to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The FMCSA issued Security Talking Points prior to conducting these security sensitivity visits. The purpose of the security visits by FMCSA was to increase the level of awareness of motor carriers to terrorist threats and to identify weaknesses in carrier security programs. In addition to identifying specific instances of suspicious activity, FMCSA learned a great deal from the interactions with carriers and has presented its "lessons learned" for motor carries as related to developing security plans, personnel security practices, facility security practices, and en route security practices.
FMCSA also expanded its outreach program to cover hazmat security. One example is the Security Awareness for Enforcement (SAFE) Checklist it developed in association with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). FMCSA has also developed guidelines to assist hazmat motor carriers in developing effective security plans and an extensive hazmat security training program use inspectors who will review these security plans.
Many of FMCSA's efforts are tied closely to new hazmat security planning and training regulations recently published by Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) that address several important areas that could improve security: (1) requiring carriers of certain hazmat to develop security plans, and (2) requiring carriers of certain hazmat to conduct driver and employee security training.
Finally, FMCSA identified an important potential role for technology to help improve motor carrier hazmat security. This was the result not only of the findings from the motor carrier security visits, but also from working with internal Department of Transportation working groups including the Intermodal Hazardous Materials Task Force and the Hazmat Direct Action Group (DAG). The internal DOT evaluation of hazmat security vulnerabilities identified a number of action items and initiatives across DOT. One major initiative was the need to take a close look at commercially available, off-the-shelf technology that could be deployed in the near term to help fill some of the most glaring gaps in hazmat transportation security.
These developments led to a competitive solicitation to field test and evaluate appropriate technology. FMCSA's intention for this field test is stated succinctly in the statement of work released to prospective bidders:
- The purpose of this initiative is to quantify the security costs and benefits of an operational concept that applies technology and improved enforcement procedures to HM transportation. A field operational test shall be conducted to demonstrate an approach that ensures the safety and security of HM shipments from origin to destination.
- The scope of this effort shall include activities that address the following risk areas: driver verification, off-route vehicle alerts, stolen vehicles (both tractors and trailers), unauthorized drivers, cargo tampering, and suspicious cargo deliveries. Suspicious cargo deliveries include the unauthorized shipment of certain types of HM to facilities that would not normally use the HM in their business operations and the shipment of different types of HM, that when combined, could pose a security risk.
- The scope of this project shall be organized in three stages: (1) the pickup of HM from shipper, (2) the transportation of the HM, and (3) the delivery of the HM to the receiver at the final destination.
FMCSA specified that the Hazardous Materials Safety and Security Operational Test (FOT) shall demonstrate an integrated operational approach that ensures the following: (1) the driver is properly identified and verified at the point of hand-off from the shipper to the carrier of the hazardous material, (2) the potential for the vehicle or trailer to be hijacked or compromised is significantly reduced, (3) if the vehicle or trailer is hijacked, there is a prompt notification capability to cognizant authorities, and (4) the ability to quickly and efficiently respond to the threat is enhanced.
1.2 Stakeholder Involvement and Benefits
The application of technology for hazmat shipments has the potential for a significant impact on many parties involved with hazardous materials transportation. It is helpful to understand this potential impact by stakeholder group.
Shippers of Hazardous Materials - Manufacturers and shippers of hazardous materials can be targets of terrorists because of the volatile nature of their products. The obvious concern of most shippers is facility security. But the interface with carriers presents another critical activity that could allow access or intervention of terrorists for the purpose of sabotage or hijacking. Shippers of hazardous materials must comply with all the appropriate hazardous materials regulations for the preparation and certification of their shipments. Therefore, it is extremely important to shippers that the handoff of a hazmat shipment to the carrier be tightened from a security perspective. Shippers need verifiable information from the carrier that the carrier's pickup driver is the right person and he or she is picking up the correct cargo. The system tested used biometric smart card technology and electronic manifest technology that provided the shipper with driver and cargo identification and verification. The driver identification and verification system tested resulted in the clearance to release a hazmat shipment to drivers that have had background checks as a precursor to their receiving hazmat endorsements on their CDLs.
Motor Carriers of Hazardous Materials - Motor carriers will benefit the most from the technologies being tested. Motor carriers have the responsibility for the shipment once the cargo is received. By the very nature of their business, motor carriers are potentially easy targets for potential sabotage or hijacking during the movement from origin to destination. Many of the specific elements that had to be addressed in the FOT and the related technologies selected by the Battelle Team are directly applicable to intervention while en route. First and perhaps most important, was the ability to know the cargo's location through Global Positioning System (GPS) and wireless asset tracking capability and the visibility of each shipment to the dispatcher. Panic button capability and remote vehicle disabling capability were provided to drivers. The dispatchers were also provided a remote disabling capability. To address tampering with the cargo seals, the capability to send an electronic message to both the driver and the dispatcher for immediate notification to law enforcement was tested. Similarly, automatic notifications to the dispatcher were sent for unauthorized attempts to uncouple a trailer from the cab. The ability to track untethered trailers was also tested.
Receivers of Hazardous Materials - Consignees have many of the same problems as the shippers identified above. They must better manage the interface with the incoming carrier to their facilities. They must be able to identify and verify that they are receiving the shipment from the correct carrier, that the driver is who he says he is, that he has the adequate background checks, and that the cargo is correct. The same driver and cargo identification systems discussed above for the shipper provided this information to the receiver in a data-secure environment.
Public Sector Enforcement and Emergency Response - This stakeholder group is the ultimate user of alert information generated during the FOT. They must have the right amount of accurate information in order to take effective action in the event of suspected terrorist activity. Alert notification resulted from many different type of events that the implemented technology solutions could identify, including: cargo seal tampering message, a remote disabling event, carrier out-of-route notice, or unauthorized driver alert notification. Roadside enforcement will have access to driver identification and verification information.
The technology solutions tested by the Battelle Team have provided proof-of-concept for providing information to the public sector in all of these situations. In particular, we demonstrated the ability to deliver such messages to roadside enforcement, law enforcement, and emergency responders.
While the Battelle Team also included two organizations that represented the perspective of important stakeholders during the project (namely the ATRI and CVSA, the FOT included the direct participation from six shippers, nine carriers, four consignees, and six state agencies in four states. Their feedback and commitment during the project helped to ensure its overall success and ensured that their respective issues, concerns, and experiences were adequately captured and addressed.
In addition, a voluntary External Stakeholder Review Group was formed with selected members of the shipper, carrier, and enforcement communities and met periodically to review progress of the operational test and offered comments and opinions. This helped to further expand the range of represented perspectives from the very diverse hazmat industry. The Battelle Team incorporated stakeholder viewpoints into the evolving test and project reports wherever possible.
1.3 Field Operational Test Requirements
The scope of the FOT included activities that addressed risk areas such as: driver verification, off-route vehicle alerts, stolen vehicles (both tractors and trailers), unauthorized drivers, cargo tampering, and suspicious cargo deliveries. The FOT was divided into eight separate tasks and organized in three stages: (1) the pick up of hazardous materials from the shipper, (2) the transportation of hazmat, and (3) the delivery of hazmat to the receiver at the final destination and was centered around 23 separate research objectives. These research objectives are discussed in detail later in Section 3.0 of this report.
The FOT was conducted over a 24-month period. The initial eight months were focused on program planning and development activities, followed by a brief pilot test period and then the field deployment and data collection activities. The pilot test period entailed a final design review meeting where the final system designs for all technology components were presented to FMCSA and the ITS JPO for review and approval. See Table 1 for FOT requirements.
Table 1. FOT Requirements
|1 Risk and Threat Assessment||High-level analysis of the safety and security risks and threats; used to frame the Concept of Operations|
|2 Concept of Operations||Detailed narrative of the proposed test; matched up the identified risks and threats with the required test elements|
|3 Develop Requirements||Included a detailed operational requirements analysis and mapped the results to requirements and specifications|
|4 Develop System Design||Included logical and technical architectures, subsystem design, and interface design|
|5 Conduct the Field Operational Test||Prototype demo followed by the six-month full test including installation, operation, and data collection|
|6 Evaluation||Supported the independent evaluator in the evaluation of test plans, data collection, and data analysis|
|7 Final Project Report||This document, which summarizes the lessons learned and the results of the FOT|
|8 Final Evaluation Report||Supported the independent evaluator in the development of the final evaluation report|
Once the design was approved, final system integration activities were completed and a full-scale pilot test of the technologies was conducted. The pilot test was designed to test each of the proposed technology applications on-board a commercial vehicle, as well as collect sample data and "exercise" the data collection, filtering, and delivery process from the deployment team to the evaluation team. The pilot test was conducted in late-summer 2003 and was conducted at Qualcomm's San Diego, California facilities. In order to minimize the impact to our volunteer carrier participants, the technologies were installed and integrated into the Qualcomm Technology Truck for the pilot test. The technologies were integrated so that each component could be activated or disabled as needed so the exact configurations of each scenario could be simulated.
The deployment team worked with the evaluation team to establish the specific data elements to be collected, how this information would be stored and forwarded to the evaluation team. This process was exercised during the pilot test period and proved to be a significant benefit to the eventual smooth operation of the full deployment test and data collection.
Once the pilot test and sample data collection activities were completed, FOT activities shifted to full-scale deployment and operation of the operational test. Installations began in late August, 2003 and the operational period completed in early May, 2004.
The FOT deployment team (see Section 1.5) was required to include (at a minimum) four motor carriers, 100 tractor-trailer units, four shippers, four receivers, a systems integrator, and hazmat industry and state safety enforcement representatives. Based on recommendations from the deployment team and the successful pilot test, FMCSA and the ITS JPO agreed to shorten the field-testing period from the original ten month requirement to six months. This recommendation was made in order to minimize the time-burden on the carriers, shippers, and consignees associated with their participation in the FOT and to encourage consistent involvement throughout the testing period by these organizations. As discussed later, this proved to be a critical success factor in the overall continuity and success of the FOT.
FMCSA also identified a need to conduct a strategic assessment of the needs and requirements of the emergency responder and law enforcement communities. As a result, a Public Sector Needs Assessment task was added to the eight requirements listed above. This needs assessment will be completed after both this document and the final evaluation report are accepted by FMCSA and will, therefore, be prepared as a separate document. It will take into account the technical aspects of the FOT as well as the technical results from the independent evaluator to develop the strategic recommendations to DOT to address public sector needs and requirements. The needs assessment will entail:
- Convening meetings of team participants and appropriate FMCSA and FHWA representatives to discuss critical issues.
- Conducting a major stakeholder workshop with key stakeholder throughout the emergency responder community.
- Documenting the lessons learned during the conduct of the FOT.
- Developing a strategic assessment and recommendations for DOT to address the critical issues.
1.4 Description and Organization of this Document
This document covers the work completed by Battelle and its subcontractors as part of the deployment activities for the FOT. The purpose of this final report is to document the activities of the Battelle Team, how we assembled the technology providers to address the research objectives, and the results and issues that arose from field testing the technologies. We will not attempt to duplicate the detailed material provided in task reports delivered earlier in the program (e.g., Risk/Threat Assessment, Concept of Operations). Rather, where appropriate, we will direct the reader to the specific documentation for more detailed information.
Because many of the documents produced from earlier activities contained material that was considered "sensitive" and its release needed to be controlled, some documents and results have been categorized as Sensitive Security Information (SSI) by the U.S. DOT. Disclosure and release of SSI is controlled by the U.S. DOT and is restricted to authorized people on a need-to-know basis. In addition, since one of the underlying principals in designing the FOT was to use current off-the-shelf (COTS) systems and technologies wherever possible, some of the specific architecture, design, and operational characteristics of the technology components are considered business sensitive by FOT team members. All SSI and business-sensitive material will be included in Appendix E. See Table 2 for organization of FOT final report.
Table 2. Organization of FOT Final Report
|1 Introduction||Background, requirements, organization, and development of the project team|
|2 Hazardous Materials Transportation||Industry overview, analysis, compendium of technology providers; security concerns|
|3 Research Objectives and Approach||Objectives and how the approach for the FOT was developed|
|4 Methodology and Conduct of the Field Operational Test||Details the specific approach to addressing each of the functional requirements; the technologies and methods deployed; includes the threat and vulnerability analysis, development of scenarios and technology suites, the conduct of the FOT, and lessons learned|
|5 Findings and Next Steps||Includes findings and recommended next steps|
1.5 Project Team
Battelle assembled a team of technology developers and vendors, hazmat industry shippers and carriers, and security experts that worked together to demonstrate the feasibility of the 23 research objectives defined by FMCSA. Table 3 provides a snapshot of the team and each member's role as an aid to the following discussion.
Battelle served as the prime contractor, system integrator, program manager, and hazmat transportation domain expert for this project. Battelle has a long history providing technical support since the 1950s to DOT, Department of Energy and Department of Defense in hazmat and nuclear transportation.
Battelle assembled and led a "core team" of partners to address FMCSA's requirements. This core team included Qualcomm, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI, formerly the American Trucking Association Research Foundation), and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). The core team served as a central project planning group that set direction and responded to problems and issues as the project unfolded.
Qualcomm is the single largest provider of technology solutions to the motor carrier industry. Their system served as the wireless communication backbone of the Battelle Team's overall technical approach. Qualcomm served as the technical lead organization and was responsible for ensuring the interface of its system with other technology providers on the team.
ATRI was a member of the core team for two reasons. ATRI represents the interests and experience of the critical industry group to ensure success of this project - the motor carrier industry. Second, its staff had substantial and current experience in managing field operational tests demonstrating new technology to improve security in supply chain management.
CVSA was the final member of the Battelle Team because of their unique role in representing the perspective and interests of the "public sector" side of this project - state enforcement and response agencies. This was a critical perspective that had to be an element of all phases of project planning and performance. CVSA is a non-profit organization of federal, state, and provincial government agencies and representatives from private industry in the United States, Canada, and Mexico dedicated to improving commercial vehicle safety.
Table 3. Battelle Team Members
|Core Team Planning Group||Description|
|Battelle||Prime Contractor; System Integrator; Hazmat Domain Experts; Risk Assessment; Evaluation Coordinator|
|Qualcomm, Inc.||Primary Technical Lead; System Development|
|American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI)||Industry Liaison; Electronic Supply Chain System; System Development Support; Support Evaluation Coordination|
|Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA)||Public Sector Liaison; Coordinate State Enforcement and Responder Involvement; Assess Needs of Public Sector|
|Total Security Services International, Inc. (TSSI)||Trucking Security Experience; Threat Assessment Task|
|Qualcomm, Inc.||Technology Integrator System Development; Provide Technology Products to Address Functional Requirements with Interfaces to Other Technology Partners|
|Saflink Corporation||Biometric Smart Card Provider; Driver Verification and Cargo Tracking System (ESCM)|
|Savi Technology, Inc.||Radio Frequency Identification Tags and System Provider; Cargo Tampering Tasks|
|The Spill Center||Hazardous Materials Support and Environmental Claims Management Company|
As identified in Table 3, the other team members include technology providers who worked closely with the core team in providing their own technology solutions to demonstrate functionality of specific functional requirements.
- Saflink had a critical technical role to play on the team by providing the biometric smart card capability to demonstrate driver identification and verification functionality. In addition, Saflink provided the electronic supply chain application that was integrated with other project team technologies to demonstrate driver verification throughout the pickup, en route, and delivery cycle of a hazmat shipment.
- Savi Technology, Inc., provided its Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) and electronic logistics solutions capabilities that were integrated with the project team technologies to demonstrate electronic cargo seal integrity.
- The Spill Center, a leading hazardous materials support and environmental claims management company, integrated their reporting system technology to provide the backbone for the public sector reporting center (Psrc).
- Total Security Services International, Inc. (TSSI) was added to the team to provide technical leadership in conducting the threat assessment during Task 1. TSSI is a preeminent trucking security consultant supporting the American Trucking Associations and addressing motor carrier industry security threats since the September 11, 2001 tragedy.