NCDOT pilots new warning system for commercial trucking
Raleigh, NC – The North Carolina Department of Transportation is taking a new approach to reducing the risk of commercial truck accidents to help keep work areas and highways flowing.
The ministry is partnering with Intelligent Imaging Systems, a Canadian company that provides innovative connected truck technology, including in-cab communications. On-board messaging provides real-time alerts of urgent road conditions. Alerts will help commercial drivers react faster before encountering major traffic stops or slowdowns.
“We make an effort to inform people of unexpected traffic conditions,” said Kevin Lacy, the state traffic engineer at NCDOT. “We are delighted to be working with an industrial partner who uses new technology. Truck drivers will be able to be warned in advance of a major road incident before seeing it on one of our dynamic message signs. “
The department contracts with Intelligent Imaging Systems to provide this service to commercial truck drivers crossing North Carolina. The country’s first pilot will cover the 182 miles of Interstate 95 and the rural parts of Interstate 40 outside of the Triangle, Triad and Asheville.
New alerts will contain messages such as “Sudden Slow Down Coming” and “Congestion Coming” approximately 2-3 miles before commercial truck drivers encounter the traffic slowdown or incident. The information will be in real time via INRIX, a leader in transport analysis and connected vehicle services. These alerts will complement other notifications that subscribed trucks are already receiving via the Drivewyze notification service. (Intelligent Imaging Systems is the parent company of Drivewyze.)
NCDOT maintains over 300 digital message signs that provide important traffic updates on 2,500 miles of highway. Safety alerts under the driver, however, can reach commercial drivers even where there is no digital sign.
Large platforms need more time to slow down, and crashes involving semi-trailers can close freeways for long periods of time and contribute to secondary crashes, such as rear-end collisions. According to the trucking industry, a fully loaded tractor-trailer traveling at 65 mph takes 66% longer to stop than a passenger car.
“We are excited to partner with the North Carolina Department of Transportation to provide a ‘connected truck’ solution that allows truckers to be alerted to unexpected slowdowns,” said Brian Heath, President and CEO of Intelligent Imaging Systems. “These alerts will undoubtedly contribute to road safety along North Carolina’s highways. We are a company committed to road safety and we applaud that NCDOT is the first agency to add these important safety alerts to truckers.
The one-year contract to use the alerts began on May 17. Subsequently, the NCDOT will assess the pilot’s safety benefits.