August 1, 2007 8:00 AM, EDT

Company Wins FMCSA Contract to Help Truckers Find Parking

Foster-Miller Inc. said Tuesday it was awarded a $396,000 contract from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to develop an automated system to help long-haul truckers find available parking.

Truckers often arrive at service centers that are full and are forced to park in unsafe locations, and FMSCA has determined that no method has been demonstrated for accurately and reliably determining the number of spaces available for truckers. the company said.

Foster-Miller said it was given permission to use the Charlton service area on the Massachusetts Turnpike for the first phase of its “SmartPark” program.

The system proposes will use video cameras at entrance and exit ramps to count vehicles entering and leaving the facility. Software will distinguish between trucks, tractors and other vehicles based on overall length.