Research Project

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Wireless Roadside Inspection (WRI) Research Project


To improve safety and the efficient operations of trucks and buses operating on our Nation’s roads and highways by developing, testing, and evaluating a wireless inspection system that is designed to conduct electronic inspections at roadway speeds. Further, the research will support the development of a Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA)-led, nationally recognized electronic wireless inspection program.


The WRI research project is implemented in three phases:
Phase IProof of Concept Test: Testing of commercially-available off-the-shelf (COTS) or near-COTS technology to validate the wireless inspection concept.
Phase IIPilot Test: Safety and inspection technology maturation demonstration, system capabilities, and back office system integration.
Phase III–Field Operational Test (FOT): Full end-to-end system testing on multiple vehicles from multiple fleets within a multi-State corridor.
The project is currently in Phase III, the FOT, which builds on the recently completed pilot tests. These pilot tests showed that a national system may be feasible but required further refinement of interfaces between government and carrier information systems. The system is being tested as a potential tool to more efficiently identify drivers, vehicles, and carriers by evaluating uniformity, accuracy, capacity, and regulatory sufficiency.
Pursuant to Section 5513 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (P.L. 114-94), a report was provided to Congress in May 2016 to provide a determination that this research: (a) does not conflict with existing electronic screening systems, or create capabilities already available; (b) does not require additional statutory authority to incorporate generated inspection data into the safety measurement system or the safety fitness determinations program; and (c) provides appropriate restrictions to specifically address privacy concerns of affected motor carriers and operators. Report available at:


The purpose of the WRI field operational test (FOT) is to develop and test a system that can identify commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) and potential registration, hours-of–service, and licensing compliance or safety violations that may exist. A wireless inspection report will be sent to inspectors to enhance their ability to identify noncompliant CMVs. During the testing, FMCSA will gather data on certain violation areas from the participating carrier’s commercial vehicles during the 1-year data collection effort of the FOT. The following table contains the violation areas with citations that will be examined.

Description of Violation



Minimum Insurance Violation

Insurance Issue


Operating Authority Violation

Operating Authority


MCMIS Status is inactive. USDOT Registration Required.



Carrier not found in SAFER. USDOT Registration Required.

Registration Issue


Driving after 60 hours on duty in a 7 day period. (Passenger carrying vehicle)

HOS Violation


Driving after 15 hours on duty (Passenger carrying vehicle)

HOS Violation


Driving beyond 11 hour driving limit in a 14 hour period. (Property Carrying Vehicle)

HOS Violation


Driving beyond 8 hour limit since the end of the last off duty or sleeper period of at least 30 minutes

HOS Violation


Driving beyond 14 hour duty period (Property carrying vehicle)

HOS Violation


Driving after 10 hour driving limit (Passenger carrying vehicle)

HOS Violation


Driving after 70 hours on duty in a 8 day period. (Passenger carrying vehicle)

HOS Violation


Driving after 70 hours on duty in a 8 day period. (Property carrying vehicle)

HOS Violation


Driving after 60 hours on duty in a 7 day period. (Property carrying vehicle)

HOS Violation


Carrier OOS Order - 90 day failure to pay fine

OOS Order


Carrier OOS Order - Unsatisfactory - Unfit

OOS Order


Carrier OOS Order - New Entrant Revoked - Expedited Actions

OOS Order


Carrier OOS Order - New Entrant Revoked - Failure of Safety Audit

OOS Order


Carrier OOS Order - New Entrant Revoked - Refusal of Audit/No Contact

OOS Order


Carrier OOS Order - Imminent Hazard

OOS Order


Carrier OOS Order - Intrastate Out of Service

OOS Order


Carrier OOS Order - Operating Without Authority

OOS Order


Operating a CMV without a CDL

CDL Violation


Operating a CMV while disqualified from holding a CDL

CDL Violation


Operating a CMV without possessing a valid medical certificate

CDL Violation


Operating  a CMV with an expired medical certificate

CDL Violation


Beyond creating a system that provides an accurate and timely inspection report to the roadside, this research will support the Agency’s understanding of the following five areas:
Question 1: Do the Agency’s databases have the capacity to process potentially large amounts of data if the system were deployed nationally through State/Private partnerships?
A replicate system of these databases will be created during the testing and FMCSA will attempt to process an amount of data that is commensurate to that of a national system to determine this.
Question 2: Does FMCSA have the capacity to ensure security and privacy protections?
The WRI processing system was developed to be installed in the Agency’s Portal environment. Because the Portal has been certified to meet the requirements of the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), FMCSA will assure that, if deployed as a production system, all transmittal of data will meet security and privacy requirements.
Question 3: Does the information captured meet the regulatory sufficiency for compliance verification?
The roadside data gathered during the electronic inspection research will be reviewed to assure the specific regulatory sections cited in the table above meet legal sufficiency. Federal, State, and Industry partners will be consulted throughout this process.
Question 4: What credit will be provided to a carrier’s safety score for a compliant wireless inspection?
This project will inform a public process through notice and comment, as a means to determine what level of credit should be given for compliant inspections.
Question 5: How will a WRI process be institutionalized throughout the States?
FMCSA will work publicly and in conjunction with CVSA to develop a nationally recognized electronic inspection program.


Currently in Phase III, the FOT will:
  • Demonstrate WRI system by modifying an existing telematics system, equipping about 600 trucks with it, and collecting inspection data wirelessly over a 1-year period.
  • Demonstrate carrier, enforcement, and compliance decision-making using WRI interfaces.
  • Demonstrate WRI system instantaneous loading equal to a nationally-deployed system.
  • Provide experience to revise the already existing WRI requirements, concept of operations, and architecture.


August 2007: Phase I completed
November 2011: Phase II completed
December 2017: Phase III and final reports will be completed


FY 2014: $1,105,000
FY 2015: $1,851,000
FY 2016: $760,000
FY 2017: $1,180,000

Current Status

The project is currently in Phase III. The FOT is being conducted.

Research Lead and Partners

Research Lead:
  • Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
  • Subcontractors to ORNL:
    • Innovative Software Engineering (technology provider)
    • North Dakota State University (IT development)
Participating States. Each applied for and received Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) High Priority grant funds to support the testing with their inspection personnel:
  • Tennessee
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
Participating Carriers. For the year-long data collection that began March 15, 2016, 550 vehicles have been equipped with WRI technology. There are 860 drivers from 38 participating fleets.
Updated: Monday, September 12, 2016
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