Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

VISIONS — Result In Brief

Project ID: 506476
Funded under: FP6-SUSTDEV
Country: Italy

Wireless and automated cargo truck inspection

With the nearly ubiquitous use of computerised databases and automation of procedures, it is amazing how many areas present opportunities for technological advancement. A team of EU-funded researchers developed an automated wireless data exchange system for cargo vehicle inspection that has the potential to significantly enhance both efficiency and safety.
Wireless and automated cargo truck inspection
Most of us have seen a truck stopped on the side of the road for a check before entering a tunnel, highway or terminal container. These inspections include assessments of vehicle data (such as fluid temperatures, brake and engine status and position) and cargo data (such as weight and temperature), and often involve the inspection or transfer of paper documents (safety cards and driver’s licenses for example). The entire procedure is time consuming, inefficient and prone to human error that can lead to safety and quality issues.

The ‘Vehicular information system interface for open network services’ (Visions) project set out to automate this system enabling wireless and automatic exchange of data regarding vehicle and cargo status as well as documentation between a cargo vehicle and the infrastructure authority where the truck is being inspected.

The researchers determined that existing wireless LAN information and communications technologies (ICT) could support the Visions system functionalities. The system required a controller area network on the truck, sensors on the trailer and remote office information systems to be used by infrastructure authorities.

The Visions team proposed that automated transmission of vehicle and trailer status parameters would significantly reduce inspection time. In addition, it would enable checking parameters not normally inspected, such as fuel level, resulting in increased efficiency. Furthermore, it would decrease cost as many inspection routines are time consuming and thus labour intensive. Finally, the electronic transmission of documents would enhance safety, quality and efficiency of the infrastructure terminal.

One of the most innovative features of the Visions system was that, upon entering a Visions-enabled area, the onboard system automatically enabled data transmission to the infrastructure authority. In addition, a security system was included such that the system granted access to specific components of data based on the security privileges of the requesting authority.

Commercialisation and widespread use of the Visions system promises to greatly simplify the inspection process for drivers and authorities alike, increasing speed, efficiency and safety. No time like the present for cargo truck inspection to take a leap into wireless data exchange!

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