BURLINGAME, Calif. — A new scale bypass system that allows drivers and carriers with good CSA scores to pass through weigh stations without stopping, is generating some buzz in the US.
The system, developed by Drivewyze, is being used at a number of scales in Maryland, where the technology was recently demonstrated for politicians and industry stakeholders.
The demonstration, held June 17 at the West Friendship Weigh Station, showed trucks and motor coaches pass by the inspection station without even having to slow down. Critical safety data on both the driver – including his electronic logging information – and carrier are transmitted wirelessly to the weigh station, via vehicle-to-infrastructure technology.
Drivewyze officials say it’s the first commercial application of its kind in the world.
Looking on were Administrator Anne Ferro from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Administrator Victor Mendez from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Stephen Keppler, executive director of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, Bill Graves, president and CEO of American Trucking Associations, Thomas Kern, from the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, and government officials.
“It’s next-generation technology, delivered today,” said Brian Heath, president of Drivewyze. “An ‘e-Inspection,’ as we call it, is the first commercial vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) solution for large trucks and buses to leverage GPS and telematics technologies to augment traditional roadside safety inspections. Along with our in-truck technology partners PeopleNet, XRS and Zonar, we were proud to be supporting Maryland State Police and the trucking industry in demonstrating an innovative and cost-effective program to improve highway safety and efficiency.”
Capt. Norman Dofflemyer, who oversees the Maryland State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, said his department appreciates being able to focus on the drivers and carriers with poor CSA records.
“If the carrier or driver has a solid safety record, and is not overweight (scales are at station sites), we can wave them through at the inspection site,” he said. “If we see a borderline case, or poor CSA score, we may inspect driver information and logbooks, plus do a vehicle inspection.”
He added: “With all of the vehicles coming into the weigh station – and we see some intrastate delivery trucks three or four times per day – systems and inspections can get clogged. It’s inefficient. There is a better way to do this.”
Carriers that enroll in the voluntary program and that boast good CSA scores and compliant drivers, can bypass as much as 98% of the time.
“Drivewyze, as it’s used today, is a transparent, neutral platform that allows state agencies to reward safe truck and bus companies (as indicated by CSA scores), with bypass opportunities,” Heath explained. “This frees front-line inspection officers to focus their attention on the trucks and buses that need inspections. A secure interface inside the weigh station displays the results of each bypass request after it has been automatically processed. Based on carrier, vehicle and driver-level data, and a state’s bypass criteria, trucks are told to either bypass or report to the weigh station. Aside from a 2% random inspection, most fleets with high safety scores can enjoy bypass rates of up to 98 percent.”
The Maryland scales implemented the Drivewyze system last September and are now using it at 14 locations. Heath said carriers benefit from the time and fuel savings.
“This lets responsible fleets leverage their investments in fleet management and safety systems to minimize delays while on the road,” Heath said.
The next step, according to officials is to hopefully get the FMCSA to recognize e-inspections as part of a carrier’s CSA profile.
“This reward would strongly incentivize carriers to participate in the program,” said Heath. “The more FMCSA rewards carriers for investments in this technology, the more information the industry will be willing to share in exchange. But, again, it’s voluntary. Today, carriers need only share basic carrier and vehicle information to participate in the program.”
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