The lack of appropriate and convenient truck parking locations has been identified as a major safety, cost, and environmental issue in both the United States and the European Union. Without access to appropriate parking locations, drivers might be forced to either drive while tired, increasing the risk of accidents, or park illegally in unsafe locations, posing a potential safety hazard to themselves and other drivers. The parking shortage also impacts shipment costs and the environment, since drivers burn more fuel while looking for places to park or idling their engines to provide cab power when parked in inappropriate locations.
This research brief summarizes findings from the associated project, the objective of which was to generate parking assist algorithms that can help truck drivers better plan their trips. By providing information about parking availability, the researchers hope to induce truck drivers to better distribute themselves among existing rest areas. This would decrease the peak demand in the most popular truck stops and attenuate the problems caused by the parking shortage.