Smart Roadside Inspection Stations can reduce emissions annually by 6.57 metric tonnes by not performing needless commercial vehicle inspections; compliant carriers saved $89,425 annually.

Installing and testing a Smart Roadside Inspection Station (RSIS)

Date Posted

Schodack Smart Roadside Inspection System: Final Report

Summary Information

This project tested the installation of a Smart Roadside Inspection Station (SRIS) on westbound I-90 in the area of Schodack, New York. The design was implemented to improve the efficiency of enforcement personnel by providing automated real-time notifications of high risk carriers traveling on the mainline. Operational performance data were collected and the system was evaluated during a four month field trial.

A previously installed weigh-in-motion (WIM) system with DSRC equipment (915 MHz and 5.9GHz) automated license plate recognition was upgraded with improved imaging systems to detect and identify overheight vehicles, U.S. DOT Numbers, and HAZMAT placards posted on commercial vehicles. The roadside equipment and e-screening software were connected to the New York State Commercial Vehicle Information Exchange Window (CVIEW) and New York State Commercial Vehicle Infrastructure Integration (CVII) network to query the following databases and collect and share compliance data on high-risk carriers.

  • FMCSA SAFER (Safety and Fitness Electronic Records) system
  • FMCSA PRISM (Performance and Registration Information Systems) program
  • NYS Tax and Finance HUT (Highway Use Tax) credentials database
  • NYSDOT OS/OW (Oversize/Overweight) permits database

Evaluators monitored SRIS activity for the last 10 minutes of every hour between December 6 and December 7, 2012. A total of 240 commercial vehicles were detected and processed.


Compared to traditional inspection methodologies RSIS can reduce the number of Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) Level 1 inspections required to maintain a target level of enforcement (number of non-compliant carriers expected to be placed out-of-service each day) at the Schodack inspection station. With a 70 percent potential increase in out-of-service rates (increasing from 20 percent to 90 percent) researchers calculated the following mobility, productivity, and environmental benefits.

Fuel Consumption and Emissions
  • An RSIS that enables 14 trucks to bypass needless one-hour inspections each day saves fuel and reduces emissions as trucks do not have to stand idle and burn fuel as they move through the inspection process. RSIS was estimated to save complaint carriers $89,425 per year in fuel costs.
  • Emission factors are estimated at 129.08 grams per hour for Carbon dioxide (CO2), 106.00 grams per hour for Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), and 21.88 grams per hour for hydrocarbons (HC). Multiplying a combined emissions level of 256.96 grams per hour by the total time saved by not performing needless inspections resulted in a total annual emissions savings of 6.57 metric tonnes.
Carrier Mobility and Productivity
  • At an inspection station that performs 20 inspections per day, RSIS was estimated to save 14 compliant carriers from 14 needless one-hour inspections. With a trucking rate of $75 per hour, compliant carriers would save $383,250 per year.
Inspector Productivity and Efficiency
  • RSIS enables inspectors to improve efficiency while maintaining enforcement levels at lower cost. At an average agency personnel cost of $45 per hour, the system would save $1,149,750 per year.
Goal Areas