The American Transportation Research Institute’s board of directors has approved the committee’s list of research priorities for 2018. The ATRI — a member of the American Trucking Associations Federation — has been conducting transportation studies and operational tests since 1954.
The Institute’s Research Advisory Committee narrowed down their priorities list in March, and the organization’s board of directors gave the list their approval in the first week of April.
While the ELD rule plays a huge role in upholding and maintaining the safety of drivers in the trucking industry, the ATRI expressed the need to re-examine existing safety rules and policies.
With the help of electronic logging devices, fleet managers can closely monitor the status of their vehicles, allowing them to track key metrics and check reports that ensure the safety of drivers along with hours-of-service compliance.
The committee also discussed perceived inconsistencies in CDL testing, and as such, agreed to investigate CDL testing requirements in the U.S. as well as to identify best practices in CDL testing.
The ATRI also expressed its commitment to ensuring the accuracy and consistency of commercial vehicle crash data at the local and state levels.
The ATRI President Rebecca Brewster told the organization is finding ways to integrate freight delivery into their “smart city” planning.
According to Sean McNally, who is an ATA spokesman, the ATRI’s research initiatives are valuable at advancing the safety of drivers in Washington and other states.
The ATRI also touched on autonomous technologies during committee deliberations, with the directors reiterating their commitment to looking into the impact of local government regulations on autonomous vehicles and how autonomous technologies will change the working environment for truckers.
The FMCSA has also started asking for input on existing regulations that could be modified or removed to improve the overall environment for the development and deployment of autonomous vehicles.
The ATRI also covered the subject of marijuana use among truckers and is looking to identify the best practices to find recommended maximum intoxication levels and identify recommendations for driver sobriety testing.
The ATRI’s research plans for 2018 are in accordance with the institute’s “Framework for Infrastructure Funding” research that was published in November. According to the study, increasing the federal fuel tax will bolster the implementation of the infrastructure program.
The ATRI’s President told they are looking to integrate the organization’s research plans into the large-scale program.