Focus Area
Freight/Commercial Vehicle Management and Operations
Submitting On Behalf Of
AASHTO Committee on TSO
Critical - High Priority
$500,000 - 749,000
1 - 2 years
Type of Research
Full Research Project
Date Posted
Jul 31, 2020
Not Funded

Research Description

The goal of trucking industry is to move goods safely, quickly, and profitably. From 2012 to 2018, freight movement on trucks increased 11%, or nearly 2% per year according to the USDOT Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). BTS reported that two-thirds of all US freight was moved by truck in 2018. BTS predicts a 21% increase in truck tonnage between 2018 and 2045, driven by the world economy and consumption within the United States. In 2045, trucks are expected to still haul two-thirds of all freight.

The problem is that state agencies, who are expected to handle increases in trucking activity without corresponding increases in staff need other methods for keeping pace. Technology is available to assist with keeping pace but other avenues like sharing data between states has not been studied. State agencies share truck size and weight and safety inspection information within their own boundaries and report to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, but rarely share directly with neighboring states.

Sharing data across state lines has the potential to mediate the staffing problem. All states primarily conduct the same inspections with guidance from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) and oversight from federal agencies. From an interstate commerce perspective there should not be a major obstacle getting agreement on allowing trucks that have been thoroughly vetted in one state to pass through another state, undisturbed, as long as certain parameter are followed.

Those affected by the current situation are enforcement officers, truckers, and the traveling public. Non-compliant trucks that slip through the network unvetted pose a safety problem to the traveling public as well as potential harm to the highway infrastructure. Compliant truckers following the rules get delayed through a series of inspections along their route of travel that may be unnecessary. Enforcement officers, who may already be understaffed, could be conducting the unnecessary inspections.

Research needs to be conducted to determine what tools should be added that are not currently in the states’ toolboxes. If message data is going to be shared on a real-time basis and information technology will need to be assessed. There are a couple of avenues of exploration. One could be the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) information system, AAMVAnet, which supports the International Registration Plan (IRP). The other could be a federal data base that is already collecting state information but could make it available on a real time basis.

If states formally agree to share operational data, they will need an institutional arrangement. One potential mechanism is an interstate compact, which is an agreement established by legislatures of 2 or more states to enable states to act jointly outside the constraints of the federal government. Four compacts are in place related to trucking. They are the International Registration Plan (IRP), the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA), the Driver License Compact, and the Vehicle Title Compact.

Additional Supporting Information

The objective of this research is to:

• Evaluate the need, feasibility, and benefits of establishing real-time commercial vehicle data sharing among states. • Design an information architecture, including data elements and standards, to support data sharing among states. • Propose an institutional arrangement to establish and sustain ongoing data sharing among states.

Submitted By
Michael Onder
C3 Consulting LLC


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