Goods movement is a term used to describe the way goods are
transported by truck, train, ship, and plane. Not only is goods movement vital
to the health of the country’s economy, it impacts the health of its citizens.
carry more commercial vehicle truck traffic than any other state, and almost
all of these trucks run on diesel.
Diesel exhaust has serious effects on human health; it is classified by
California as a
carcinogen and contains 40 hazardous air pollutants listed by the U.S.
EPA. Moreover, of all transportation
sources, heavy-duty vehicles generate 19 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in
and are therefore a significant contributor to global warming.
IMR’s goods movement projects are aimed at researching
innovative solutions to reduce the negative environmental and health impacts
associated with getting products from Point A to Point B. Currently, IMR’s
projects include smart parking for trucks and virtual weigh stations.
[ TRB_Smart Truck Parking in California.pdf ]
“Smart Parking” for trucks employs advanced technology,
called Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), to help truck drivers find
available space to park their trucks when they are out on the road. Drivers can be notified of parking
availability through technologies such as on-road signs, onboard computers, or via
The goal of smart parking is to help drivers locate parking
spots as quickly and efficiently as possible so they don’t have to drive around
searching for parking. Due to a critical
shortage of truck parking and rest areas, trucks often end up illegally parking
and idling on exit ramps, road shoulders and neighborhood streets while they
wait to load or unload their cargo nearby. Smart parking can reduce this idling
activity, and in turn reduce toxic diesel emissions, which contribute to poor
air quality and adverse health effects. Smart parking also helps to alleviate
driver fatigue and, in turn, reduce accidents.
Virtual weigh stations can use Intelligent Transportation
Systems (ITS) technologies to check, screen, and even allow pre-qualified truck
haulers to bypass traditional weigh and inspection stations. Allowing
pre-screened vehicles to bypass the traditional weigh station has many
long wait times for other drivers that have to weigh in at the station and
thereby saving the drivers money
long weigh station lines, which sometimes back up onto the highway
creating safety hazards
idling time, which saves fuel and reduces air pollution
- Reducing the burden on inspection personnel.