Skip to Content

Automated System Helps Truck Drivers Find Safe, Legal Parking

parked semi trucks

Along busy highways, finding a safe and legal place to park a semi truck can be a challenge. When rest stop spaces fill up, truck drivers may park on the shoulders of highway ramps or nearby roads, creating safety concerns. Others may continue driving and become fatigued or violate federal regulations that limit commercial driving hours.

Through a partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the American Transportation Research Institute, University of Minnesota researchers have developed a system to help drivers find safe and legal parking more easily. The Minnesota Truck Parking Availability System, developed by a team at the Center for Transportation Studies, automatically counts the open truck parking spaces at rest stops and informs drivers of availability in real-time.

The system feeds images taken by networks of digital cameras into image processing software developed by the researchers to function in all kinds of weather and lighting conditions. Following early demonstrations, 60 percent of drivers said the system helped them find parking during their trips.

Currently, the Wisconsin and Minnesota transportation departments are working together to implement the system at public truck stops along the I-94 corridor between the two states. Meanwhile, the University’s Office for Technology Commercialization has filed a patent to commercialize the system and expand its reach in other areas.

For more information, see the full story in CTS Catalyst.

Monitoring Truck Parking Availability

Photo credit: Michael McCarthy, Center for Transportation Studies

Kevin Coss

Kevin Coss

Kevin is a writer with the Office of the Vice President for Research.

coss@umn.edu

Latest Blog Posts

People in lab coats holding a device displaying MRI scans of the brain

University startup Surgical Information Sciences generates patient-specific 3D maps to help surgeons more precisely target deep brain stimulation.

Read More
Graphic reading "Research Infrastructure"

More than $1.7 million was awarded to 10 projects that support research infrastructure, facilities, and support services across the University.

Read More
Emissions flow out of a cement plant

Researchers are working on a first-of-its-kind bioreactor to reduce CO2 into a storable liquid that can then be made into various chemicals and materials.

Read More
A sample being place into next-generation sequencing equipment in the UMGC lab

Under the nearly $750,000 contract, UMGC will collaborate with the Minnesota Department of Health to aid in national and global viral surveillance efforts.

Read More