SmartPark: Real-time Parking Availability, Phase II

The objective of this project was to demonstrate a technology for providing real-time information on truck parking availability to truckers on the road. The SmartPark program was prompted by a 2000 National Transportation Safety Board recommendation that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) create a guide to inform truck drivers about locations and availability of parking. A 2002 study on the adequacy of truck parking by the Federal Highway Administration recommended using Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) to provide truckers with real-time information on the location and availability of parking spaces. In 2005, the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center completed a study entitled "ITS and Truck Parking" for FMCSA. FMCSA completed Phase I by field testing a technology, namely, combined Doppler radar and laser scanning/light curtain. The test results from the contractor (independently verified and validated by Volpe) showed that the technology meets three necessary performance requirements. Therefore, a decision was made to proceed to Phase II. Phase II covered information dissemination, reservations, maximization of space, gathering of historical data to make forecasts of availability, and self-sustainability. Phase II of the SmartPark field operations test (FOT) took place at mile markers (MM) 23 and 45 northbound on I-75 in Tennessee. MM 23 is approximately 20 miles north of Chattanooga and MM 45 is halfway between Chattanooga and Knoxville. At both MM 23 and MM 45, there is truck parking. For each of the two truck parking areas, there were two variable message signs providing notice of truck parking availability (available, limited, or full) for a total of four signs. For each truck parking area, one sign was at 1 mile upstream of the truck parking area, and another sign was about 400 feet upstream of the truck parking area. At each of the truck parking areas, there were five spaces that could be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. In the 6 months of field testing, FMCSA demonstrated and gathered data on the feasibility of the truck parking reservation system, historical utilization of truck parking spaces, and the viability of linking the two truck parking areas together (i.e., were truckers diverted by the variable message signs if one area was filled and the other was not?). A final report for Phase I showing the feasibility of a commercially-available technology (Doppler radar and laser scanning/light curtain) for accurately and reliably determining truck parking space occupancy was accepted in June 2013. The 6-month FOT final report (pending publication) will show whether two truck parking areas can be networked in such a way that trucks can be diverted from a filled area to an unfilled area and show the viability of information dissemination systems for truck parking availability. Other tasks included development of an operations and maintenance manual and training to manage the SmartPark system.


    • English


    • Status: Completed
    • Funding: $220,000
    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Project Managers:

      Kwan, Quon

    • Performing Organizations:

      Gannett Fleming, Incorporated

      209 Senate Avenue
      Camp Hill, Pennsylvania  United States  17011
    • Start Date: 20150200
    • Expected Completion Date: 20160926
    • Actual Completion Date: 0

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01592632
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
    • Files: RIP, USDOT
    • Created Date: Mar 4 2016 7:30AM