MnDOT launches new system to help truckers find parking spaces

| 8/29/2014

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is alerting truck drivers to a new technology it is using to help them find available truck parking places at three of its rest areas along Interstate 94.

According to a MnDOT release, the rest areas are equipped with automatic truck stop management systems that alert drivers when parking spaces are available at the three sites.

MnDOT says the system uses a network of digital cameras to monitor parking availability.

“In-cab messaging and variable message signs a few miles ahead of the rest area help truckers decide when to stop and rest,” the release stated.

The technology is now available at the Elm Creek Rest Area on I-94, two miles north of Interstate 494; the Big Spunk Lake Rest Area between Albany and Avon; and the Enfield Rest Area near Monticello. The plan also includes the technology at a private truck stop in Minnesota.

In the release, John Tompkins, MnDOT project manager, stated the system is in the preliminary phase, but so far has had “95 percent accuracy in determining the availability of spaces.”
In December, MnDOT will review the results to see if the system can be expanded to more rest areas.

The University of Minnesota’s Center for Transportation Studies developed the technology, which was funded by MnDOT and the Federal Highway Administration.

“We know truck parking is a serious issue along the highway system in the country,” Tompkins said in the MnDOT release.

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