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Technology and Innovation

A leader in the evaluation of operational tests of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) for commercial vehicle operations (CVO), ATRI is involved in projects that are state, national and international in scope. Recent projects include testing of performance measures for freight movement, operational tests of electronic transactions, and development and testing of onboard computer and communications systems.

Current Technology and Innovation Research

Freight Performance Measures

As part of the FHWA-sponsored Travel Time in Freight Significant Corridors, ATRI has pioneered an effort to develop methods for measuring freight performance on the nation’s highways, with the ultimate goal being the identification and eventual mitigation of freight movement impediments.  Working closely with its telecommunications industry partners and participating motor carriers, this ITS initiative develops and tests real-time freight performance measures such as average travel rate, corridor demand, time of day analysis and reliability along critical freight corridors throughout the U.S.  This research is conducted primarily through the use of unique and substantial truck position databases.  The initial testing determined that position data collected from trucks can be processed in a confidential manner to provide travel metrics along major U.S. freight corridors, and the research now indicates that a national system of freight performance measures can be built and maintained.  In the current fourth phase of research, ATRI continues to lead the effort and is currently conducting further validations of the research methodology and data processing tools, expanding coverage beyond the traditional 25 freight significant corridors and 5 U.S./Canadian border crossings and developing effective methods for distributing aggregated results among stakeholders. 


Industry Involvement: Carriers continue to provide data through telecommunications industry partners.  


Freight Performance Measures - One Page Summary (PDF)


Methods of Travel Time Measurement in Freight-Significant Corridors (PDF)


CVISN Motor Carrier Business Case

Over the past decade there has been a push by state and federal government agencies to implement a system that allows motor carriers to electronically apply for operating credentials such as IFTA, IRP and oversize/overweight permits.  This initiative, entitled CVISN, has seen less robust participation from carriers than was originally anticipated.  ATRI is part of a FMCSA-contracted team to examine the strengths and weaknesses of the system and collect input on carrier real-world cost savings associated with the move to electronic credentialing.  The interviews that were used to collect this information will be analyzed and used to develop a business case for more widespread CVISN utilization.  Carrier interviews are complete and the business case will be completed and delivered to FMCSA by September. 


Industry Involvement: ATRI interviewed a number of carriers utilizing electronic credentialing.  It is anticipated that FMCSA will utilize the findings from the interviews and the resulting business case to encourage more widespread use of CVISN among the industry.


Columbus Electronic Freight Management

The U.S. DOT continues its ongoing research on the original ATRI-designed “ESCM” initiative in a pilot test of a live system that sends internet-based notifications and transactions between a series of supply chain partners in the U.S. and China.  The effort is designed to streamline various components of the freight industry, thereby reducing system inefficiencies.  Aside from technical assistance to the field test, ATRI has been commissioned to develop several industry case studies on the role and utility of supply chain management systems. 


Industry Involvement: The field test is utilizing several manufacturers, trucking companies and air cargo carriers in both the U.S. and China. 


National Trucking Industry Data Clearinghouse

Transportation research and planning relies heavily on the availability of credible, real-world data.  Unfortunately, industry concerns over civil litigation, competitive information and excessive regulation has reduced the accessibility of such data.  ATRI has collected a substantial base of essential industry data relating to safety, productivity and operations but is relatively limited in its ability to publicly use the data.  The ATRI Board has tasked ATRI to develop a plan for creating a national trucking industry clearinghouse that addresses/resolves issues such as confidentiality, legal concerns, access and storage.  The proposed clearinghouse design will be vetted in the Fall of 2007.


Industry Involvement: The research is funded and directed by industry representatives interested in aggregating essential industry data.  A small steering committee of relevant stakeholders is being formed to review the research findings.

Completed Research



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