The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced last week it is beginning a pilot program of sorts at a rest area a the intersection of I-94 and I-494 in which cameras in the parking lot will be used to check availability of parking for truckers.
“The project will test whether this information improves truck drivers’ ability to find parking and reduce driver fatigue,” says MnDOT’s website. The testing phase starts this month at the I-94 Elm Creek Rest Area and will run through April, and afterward, the system will notify drivers of available parking space via a website, in-cab messaging and signage along I-94.
MnDOT says it will expand the system after the initial testing, too, saying that it will use automated cameras and wireless servers to check truck stops and rest areas along I-94 for parking spaces and relay the information in real time to drivers. Cameras will be installed at rest areas and at least one Piilot Travel Center.
“When a truck approaches a digitized buffer at 20-, 10-, 5- or 1-mile points, the driver receives a notification indicating how many spaces are available at each upcoming parking facility. This particular system ensures that drivers are not in violation of the new federal ban on texting and cell phone use,” says MnDOT’s website.