U.S. FMCSA to begin hazmat tests

WASHINGTON, (July 18, 2003) — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will begin its Hazardous Materials Safety and Security Field Operational Test later this month to measure the effectiveness of safety and security technologies for safeguarding hazardous materials transported by trucks.

A prototype test is scheduled later this month, with full-scale testing to begin in late August. The test, which encompasses four different transportation scenarios, will involve 100 trucks equipped with a variety of existing technologies packaged in several different cost tiers.

The project will test the capabilities of technologies such as driver verification using password logins, fingerprint biometrics and smart cards; vehicle and load tracking, using satellites and other wireless systems; off-route and stolen vehicle alerts, using geo-fencing; cargo tampering alerts, using electronic seals; driver distress alerts, using driver panic buttons; and remote vehicle disabling in instances of known terrorist attacks.

The test’s deployment team members include Qualcomm Inc., the American Transportation Research Institute, and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Association. OEM and engine manufacturers involved include Caterpillar, Cummins, Detroit Diesel, Freightliner, and International Truck and Engine.

–Truckinginfo.com

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