Smart Truck Parking: Forecasting Parking Availability at Truck Stops

Truck drivers are faced with a critical shortage in truck parking due to growth in commercial vehicle truck travel on our nation's roads. The growth in truck travel has created a considerable parking challenge.  The five-axle trucks that drive the nation’s highways are difficult to park, and require dedicated spaces designed for trucks to be parked legal.  While the supply of parking has not kept up with growth in truck travel, truckers also face an information problem with respect to finding parking.  Trucker must guess where to go, and if they are wrong, may face long distances to find the next location with dedicated legal parking.  A fatigued driver that must drive to search for a parking place can become not only a safety issue but also an environmental issue because the search for truck parking generates excess and unnecessary diesel emissions.  Truck drivers that park away from amenities and electrification infrastructure generally must idle their truck continuously to power the interior cabin. 

Information on where truck parking is available can mitigate the asymmetric information problem that truckers face with respect to finding parking.  It would greatly enhance the ability of truckers to find safe, legal parking where they can rest. While information on current parking availability is useful for informing truckers of current parking availability, TSRC is seeking to advance the quality of this information by developing analytical methods to generate forecasts of truck parking availability based on historical data collected from sensing systems placed at truck stops. Forecasts of truck parking availability in the future are relevant to truckers that are distant from targeted truck stops and want to have an estimate as to what parking availability will likely be when they arrive. Forecast models are developed using historical records of activity data collected on the highway and at the truck stops.

The goal is to provide drivers with parking information prior to arriving at their destination. Truck drivers can access the information about forecasted and historical parking availability via the Internet or a mobile device. Over time, forecasted parking information may be able to account for seasonal and economic variations. This project shall explore the application of truck parking forecasting using existing sensing resources and data as derived from existing infrastructure deployed on the I-5 corridor in California.

The project website showing truck parking availability is called American Truck Parking. It can be found at:

Truck Parking Estimation and Forecasting v5.pdf677.34 KB




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