Good afternoon or good morning to those of you to the West. Welcome to the Talking Freight Seminar Series. My name is Jennifer Symoun and I will moderate today's seminar. Today's topic is Virtual Weigh Stations. Please be advised that today's seminar is being recorded.
Today we'll have four presenters. Richard McDonough of the New York State Department of Transportation, Mike Akridge of the Florida Department of Transportation, Jack Selter of the Center for Advanced Transportation Systems Simulation at the University of Central Florida, and Nasim Uddin of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Richard McDonough is the New York State Department of Transportation's Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks (CVISN) Program Manager and Head of Commercial Vehicle Infrastructure and Technology Development in the Office of Safety and Security Services. He has held a number of positions in the Department including Head of the Grade Crossing Safety Program and Manager of the Intercity and High Speed Rail Passenger Programs. Rick graduated from Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY with a BS in Civil Engineering.
Mike Akridge is a US Air Force veteran who retired in 1986. He has since worked for the State of Florida in a verity of positions including Deputy Right of Way Manager, Property Management & Relocation: Assistant to the State Highway Engineer: and ITS Administrator, CVO/ETC and currently as the Deputy State Traffic Engineer, Incident Management and Commercial Vehicles. Mike took over the Deputy Engineer position for Incident Management in 2004 and started his CVO track as the Assistant to the State Highway Engineer in 1997, he later moved into the newly formed ITS Program Office as the Administrator for Commercial Vehicle Operations and Electronic Toll Collection. He serves as Florida's Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks (CVISN) Program Manager. Mike also serves in a national capacity as the Past Chair of ITS America's Commercial Vehicle and Freight Mobility Forum and has served as the Co-Chair of the I-95 Corridor Coalition Commercial Vehicle Track. Mike currently sits of the Board of Directors as well as the Executive Board for the Heavy Vehicle License Plat (HELP) Inc. a public/private non-profit partnership and he Chairs the Commercial Motor Vehicle Review Board for the State of Florida. Mike graduated with high honors from Tampa College with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Business, in Tampa Florida and received the designation of Certified Public Manager from Florida State University in 1991.
Jack Selter is currently the Director for the Center for Advanced Transportation Systems Simulation located at the University of Central Florida. He is responsible for the daily operations of the center which includes management support and reporting in personnel, budget, operations, and communication functions, as well as, contract and grant development with partners. Jack has over 30 years of administrative and contract grant administration in engineering and engineering education. Past work history includes of Georgia Tech, Clemson University, University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.
Dr. Nasim Uddin, P.E., F.ASCE is an associate professor of structural engineering in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His research interests include: smart materials, smart structures, structural retrofitting and structural repair, and advanced FRP material for bridge and building structures against harsh environments. His current research projects include Thermoplastic composite technology for bridge applications (sponsored by DOT/DC DOT); Innovative repair and strengthening technology for bridge (sponsored by FHWA); Panelized construction with FRP based sandwich panels and multifunctional composites panels (sponsored by NSF); Green composites for coastal housing (sponsored by NSF); Innovative lightweight structural panels for highly dynamic loads (sponsored by DOE); Advanced composites for protection of bridge column structures and Low cost composite for vehicular bridge superstructure (UTCA). He teaches advanced composite structures, bridge engineering and advanced steel structures at the graduate level. He organized a NSF international conference on innovation in disaster mitigation construction in 2005. He has served as principal or co-principal investigator on research projects whose cumulative funding exceeds $3.5 million. He is the author/co-author of over 100 publications in the areas of structural analysis, advanced composites, innovative materials and design, and edited three major conference proceedings. He is currently serving as Secretary of ASCE Executive Committee for Council on Disaster Risk Management.
I'd now like to go over a few logistical details prior to starting the seminar. Today's seminar will last 90 minutes, with 60 minutes allocated for the speakers, and the final 30 minutes for audience Question and Answer. If during the presentations you think of a question, you can type it into the smaller text box underneath the chat area on the lower right side of your screen. Please make sure you are typing in the thin text box and not the large white area. Please also make sure you send your question to "Everyone" and indicate which presenter your question is for. Presenters will be unable to answer your questions during their presentations, but I will start off the question and answer session with the questions typed into the chat box. Once we get through all of the questions that have been typed in, the Operator will give you instructions on how to ask a question over the phone. If you think of a question after the seminar, you can send it to the presenters directly, or I encourage you to use the Freight Planning LISTSERV. The LISTSERV is an email list and is a great forum for the distribution of information and a place where you can post questions to find out what other subscribers have learned in the area of Freight Planning. If you have not already joined the LISTSERV, the web address at which you can register is provided on the slide on your screen.
Finally, I would like to remind you that this session is being recorded. A file containing the audio and the visual portion of this seminar will be posted to the Talking Freight Web site within the next week. We encourage you to direct others in your office that may have not been able to attend this seminar to access the recorded seminar.
The PowerPoint presentations used during the seminar will also be available within the next week. I will notify all attendees of the availability of the PowerPoints, the recording, and a transcript of this seminar.
We're now going to go ahead and get started. Today's topic, for those of you who just joined us, is the Virtual Weigh Stations. Our first presenter will be Rick McDonough of the New York State Department of Transportation. As a reminder, if you have questions during the presentation please type them into the chat box and they will be answered in the last 30 minutes of the seminar.
The title of this presentation is Commercial Vehicles and Intelligent Transportation Systems, The Convergence of Real Time Data, Information and Operations - VII, and I think what we're seeing in our world is a number of changes, rapid advances in technology and I think this effort that we're doing really kind of brings a lot of different program areas together that we're focusing on and concerned about.
Most of the transportation agencies in the country have common areas of concern. We have mobility and system Management issues, we have to mitigate congestion, maintain mobility, economic vitality. We all know how important transportation is to the well being of our society and our culture. We certainly want to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the systems and the operations. Furthermore, we're focused on improving safety. Want to reduce the number of crashes. We want to reduce accidents, injuries and deaths associated with those problems and we also have security details we have to focus on. We want to protect our key assets, do our due diligence with our customers, and support any security operations and incident responses. Many times on security for transportation, our major role is in response to the incident and to some degree, the incident , the cause of the incident isn't necessarily a major concern. It's how do we fix the problems that the incident has caused.
So we've seen charts, information, statistics, data, that show that the safety indicators are not improving as much as we would like to see them improve. Our fatalities and fatalities rate are going up. Same situation with mobility. We have hours of delay increasing, our vehicle miles traveled keeps increasing, and capacity really isn't going to solve the problem. We don't really have the resources to do that and in many cases that's not the best answer.
We also know about freight movements and commercial vehicles. No matter what happens in the future, particularly I think our decisions are going to be dominated some time down the road by energy concerns no matter how efficient we make the supply chain, we will probably always have commercial vehicles at the beginning and the end of most trips for commodities. So we've got increasing truck volumes, we've got major bottlenecks and congestion issues.
So with the current and projected growth of vehicle trips , we want to improve safety, mobility, security and economic vitality across the network. We also want to leverage our existing investments. We're all faced with constraints and funding problems. We really need to be more efficient with those investments and we need to be a little smarter about how we integrate the elements. All these programs deal with vehicles, drivers, infrastructure, data, roadside operations, and what not. We really need to be a little more intelligent about how we bring everything together. We also need to manage the overall system including cross- agency coordination, particularly in New York State when we get down to some of our New York City areas, there's just a number of agencies that are involved and facilities and operations of those facilities and in order to really manage the network properly we need to do a great deal of coordination and work together.
And we really need to start focusing on commercial and transit vehicles as well. I think sometimes in the past, some of our ITS initiatives have treated most vehicles as the same. Many times, if we use ITS or technology to increase additional capacity, for instance, a lot of that capacity is taken up by single driver fossil fuel cars and I'm not sure that that's in our best interests.
So right now, we're working with a number of entities on the Next Generation of ITS and that's the vehicle infrastructure integration, VII for short and VII technology is very similar in concept to the current operations that you would see with dedicated short range communication and trans ponder technologies such as Easy Pass on the toll collection side of things, although the nice thing about VII is the higher speed, higher capacity, secured data transmission using 5.9 gigahertz technology and this spectrum was set aside a number of years ago by FCC for transportation purposes, if it was to be put out on the open market today it was probably worth billions of dollars, and the great thing about VII at least in theory is that the systems can be integrated into the control systems of the vehicle, and in theory, that would now allow us not only to send high speed, high quantity data transmissions between the vehicle and the roadside, the roadside and the vehicle and from vehicle to vehicle, but it also in theory can be used to actually do some control situations with the vehicle , so the capability of the high speed, high capacity secured data communication is really the key of this technology and it kind of removes many of the constraints we're seeing on the ITS technology we have deployed today.
So here is the visual of what the kind of the traditional concept of VII is. You have on Board equipment on a passenger car, it can talk at high speed, very secure communications to the roadside equipment and that then transfers information to a Management server through the network and various activities are done with that information. It could be probe information for highway Management. It could be directional information, GPS navigation all things. It can be toll, it can be a number of content that would be provided by both the public and the private sector. And here is a list of some of the applications of VII. Many safety and mobility applications that are being explored. Road departure, road condition warning, emergency brake lights and vehicle signing, intersection collision avoidance and again this technology allows us to send a lot of information into the cab of a vehicle. We could probably do it in ways that would minimize a distraction which I think is a big issue for the driver of these days, I think we need to be very careful we start talking about cell-phone based applications, we all know what the driver behavior is when they're distracted particularly on cell phones. One of the interesting things on this display is the heads up display at the bottom right hand corner that says " Stop now" and that would be one type of potential communication to the driver. It's like the cockpit of the vehicle.
This is a diagram of kind of the hierarchy and structure of the current VII program, and if you notice here, at the bottom left hand corner where the box of all of the kind of private sector manufacturers are, you'll notice that historically, the manufacturers being involved in VII nationally have been car manufacturers like vehicle manufacturers, so we looked up this in the whole situation and we said we really need to add commercial vehicles and transit vehicles to that mix to really make VII a useable technology. This slide shows kind of a simple situation of what VII can do. The vehicle in the front would have the indication that the light is red. The driver would put on his emergency brakes. The passenger car behind him would immediately get that indication to warn the driver there's a sudden stop ahead. Currently, the commercial vehicle is not part of the formula , so if this program was enacted the way it is now, that truck would not get the warning. That truck would probably crash into the back of the first vehicle and the second vehicle would probably crash into the back of the truck. We looked at that and said really to make this work to really overcome some of the constraints and problems we've had in the past with technology applications in the ITS world we really need to bring commercial vehicles in this because commercial vehicles is really the dominant vehicle type in our world. It drives design of our structures, of our pavement. It drives our operations, our damage is considerably caused by commercial vehicles and the heavy loads they carry.
This is a slide as I showed earlier and we think with VII we can really start driving down some of the safety issues and concerns and risks and we can improve on our whole safety situation with our highways and vehicle operations and we can start lowering some of the accident rates and injury rates and fatality rates.
Same with the mobility chart. We can be more efficient with this technology. We can do more global kind of network-based controls and operations. We can get better information, faster to the users.
As we started looking at the VII program, in 2008, during November 16-20, the 2008 ITS world Congress is being held in Manhattan and this was seen as a perfect opportunity to kind of continue some of the demonstrations being advanced by US D OT and some of the private and stakeholders and there's essentially three quarters we're looking at to do some VII demonstration applications. One within Manhattan on the Local Streets, in and around Javitts Center, and second is the Long Island Expressway being managed by my colleagues and our regional office in Long Island and the third is the Spring Valley corridor that we're working on, and the first two demonstration corridors will be kind of official demonstration corridors. We see the third one, the Spring Valley corridor, as really kind of a long term permanent deployment where we can do a lot of R & D development work and others if they're interested can use this corridor as well.
So our new concept with VII is what we're calling CVII, commercial vehicle infrastructure integration and we're adding the commercial vehicle to this picture. We're going to pursue the work needed on the commercial vehicle side in terms of hardware and software development to allow the commercial vehicle industry and their equipment to talk to the roadside and hopefully talk to the passenger vehicles as part of this program.
This map is an outline of what we're going to do with the locations. At the bottom middle of the chart, you'll see a green indication. That is the Spring Valley corridor. That's a 13 mile corridor. That will be essentially fully deployed VII capable corridor. It's an excellent location. It's extremely high overall volume of traffic, very high commercial vehicle volumes, considerable accident history, and the State is embarking on what will be a multi-year probably a multi-decade process to come up with a new River crossing in that area, so that area is going to be under a lot of construction at some point down the road.
Just North of that we're looking out to install a system with motion devices. That site will also be outfitted with some VII equipment for us to do additional application work, and we're looking at three other sites, one on the Newberg Bridge and two other between the Hudson River and Pennsylvania and we are installing E-screening sites and the nice thing about the VII program is once you have an existing roadside cabinet with power and communications, the actual cost of putting in the V II equipment is relatively small.
So our Spring Valley corridor that we're advancing, there's 14 sites covering a 13 mile segment of the I-87 toll road and we have complete coverage between each interchange link, we have an average density of about a little under a mile, . Nine miles, the greatest distance between any two VII locations would be 1.7 miles and the shortest distance is . Six. So this will be a relatively saturated corridor. We hopefully can do more advanced applications development, and as we embarked upon this infrastructure improvement, the VII corridor of Spring Valley, we also obviously noticed that the commercial vehicle itself needed some attention, so we apply to I-95 corridor coalition and were successful in receiving $750,000 of funding. To initiate the commercial vehicle communication development so that the commercial vehicle industry can be part of the national VII effort.
And we're going to use dedicated range communications again and that's essentially the type of trans ponder you see along the road for EZ pass and other applications today. We're going to really try to get the CV side of the equation , the CV manufacturing, the carrier, the industry to kind of catch up where the passenger vehicle industry is, and this program up until now has been almost exclusively focused on passenger vehicles, so we want to be able to make sure that the CV and transit industries can use these systems to communicate with the roadside and can communicate with other vehicles so we want to develop and integrate all of the software to allow CV vehicles to communicate to the roadside and hopefully to passenger vehicles, and the commercial vehicle to passenger vehicle communication is an area that we need further discussions with US DOT and the VII consortium which is a consortium of the passenger vehicle manufacturers.
And the reason we think this effort is important, obviously it's critical to all of our goals, particularly when we get into the safety and security, commercial vehicles are kind of our high potential risk vehicles. They carry the most commodities, a lot of HazMat, certainly they could cause more problems for us, if you look at the impact of commercial vehicles have on congestion, it's more significant on a per vehicle basis and a passenger vehicle, so we want to make sure that we've got that base covered, that we're advancing that element of the program. We can really only maximize our investments and our efforts if we really start focusing on commercial vehicle and transit vehicles. They really are the 800 pound gorillas in our world, not to say passenger vehicles aren't important and I love my car, but as a business kind of a core critical focus, really they dominate our world so we want to make sure that we've got that element advanced so that if and when there's the decision to deploy these systems nationally, we don't have to do anything to catch up.
We see that this program really is a focal point of many of the general and the CV specific activities that have been going on for a number of years at the national level, and I think this is really an opportunity to kind of bring these programs together, so the initiatives on truck parking, on the general VII program, on our ITS programs, on wireless truck and bus inspection, smart roadside, commercialization systems networks, I think this program will provide a platform to bring them all in and particularly on our corridor, we'll give anybody who is interested kind of a real world operational demonstration corridor to develop it and test it and demonstrate these important applications.
Specifically what we're going to do is that we've decided to follow-up on a project with I-95 that was completed with North Carolina DOT North Carolina Highway Patrol which was to kind of take some driver certification verification activities to make sure the driver is who he says he is, that he can operate the truck safely, and that information was wirelessly transmitted against a database who checked to make sure he was certified and once that happened then the driver could start the truck and drive it. If that certification verification did not happen, then the driver couldn't start the truck and the vehicle wouldn't move. They also last year under the I-95 project did some very fundamental kind of dashboard lighting indicators wireless, like the brake light on the Board, we want to dive a little bit beater into that and make that kind of same driver based and vehicle based information work within the dedicated short range, 5.9 gigahertz arena, make this all part of the V II effort, and our goal is to really complete all of this work by the Fall of next year, and that would include very similar things that federal motor care is working on with Smart Roadside and the wireless vehicle safety inspection and we would like to get at direct safety data such as the brake status, tire pressure, light status, seat belt use, anything that will give you some safety information, very similar to what we're doing now when we stop a vehicle. We check his ID, we run him through databases, we crawl under the vehicle and check certain mechanical situations, so we would like to automate that to the degree we can and we would like to make that work within the context of the overall VII network and architecture.
One of the other things that we're going to do is we are on a separate project with our energy development authority here in New York. We're working with a Company to develop a real time GPS radar enabled traffic barrel, and this is a relatively old picture and I will update this, but the traffic barrel that I saw yesterday was first prototype and looks exactly like a standard MUTCD approved traffic barrel, inside it has a GPS antenna and it has radar, and we can in real time turn these barrels on. We will immediately know where work zones are, where accident or incident location is, we can do some speed monitoring, some enforcement, particularly in our work zones we've had some severe accidents. We've had a lot of safety concerns in New York with our work zone, so we see this as one of the potential applications where we would go out, establish these barrels along a certain work zone or accident location, and then we can broadcast to the driver a warning, work zone head two miles, we can give him updated information, we can make him aware, he's approaching an area where he has to pay attention, he has to reduce his speed and we think this is a very valuable safety improvement.
And here is a diagram that kind of shows how that would work and I think this is really one of the major benefits of this whole technology is that I think for this really the first time, we have the potential to offer the commercial vehicle carrier and Operator some real return on investment to buy into this program, to purchase the equipment, to order the truck with it, because we think that these safety benefits and some other applications are hopefully will be developed down the road, provide some real hard core benefit s to the industry, and I think we've had a little problem with that through the years with kind of the standard technology we're using say with the electronic screening program, where it's to some degree it's questionable and understandable why a carrier or commercial vehicle driver might be hesitant to buy into this. And again these systems can be used for a number of applications, just about anything you can think of, rooting information, parking space availability, and I think once we can show to the industry that this is a valuable investment for them and it's a return on their investment, then I think we get over that hump and I think it addresses one of the significant issues we've had through the years with some of the old technology and some of the things we're trying to accomplish with commercial vehicles and roadside screening.
So with that, that's the end of my presentation and I'll entertain any questions when appropriate.
Thank you, Rick. And again if you do think of questions for Rick, please feel free to post them to the chat area as well as if you think of questions for the other presenters. And then we'll address those questions at the end of the seminars.
We'll now move on to our next to our next given jointly by Mike Akridge of the Florida Department of Transportation and Jack Selter of the Center for Advanced Transportation Systems Simulation at the University of Central Florida and I believe Mike will be going first.
That's correct. Thank you for allowing me to speak today. I guess I'd say from the names I've already seen on here, there are probably a lot of people that are more appropriate to speak to this in this list of listeners than myself but I have Jack Selter on the other end of the line that's going to help me do this presentation and I always bring on people smarter than me, so there for, we are working with the University of Central Florida to put together a lot of our projects and what we want to talk about today is what Florida is doing, technology wise, to improve the movement and mobility of commercial vehicles.
Florida, our intermodal freight program, we import and export a ton of stuff here. In 2006, Florida exported commodities from ports with a value of about $40 billion. Imported about $37 billion, and we moved about 87.5% of all commodities removed by truck.
We have a strategic intermodal system that we've looked at in putting funding on to improve the linkages and hubs and corridors, connectors to all of our multi-modal facilities and the states funding projects are tied to that so that we can improve the way freight moves throughout the State as well as the public themselves being a major tourist State to allow people to move from one mode to another, and we want to make sure that we have .. compliance without interruption, so that's one of the reasons that we've looked very heavily at Virtual Weigh Stations and we're exploring all types of ITS technologies to meet the future challenges of moving commercial vehicles.
Florida, we'll just look at our roadway system, and you can see how our interstates connect and how we only have certain routes that we can get to, therefore we have lots of ports and lots of airports we have to connect with as well. We currently have 26 electronic screening sites. That includes our agriculture sites as well, and we do monitor all of the vehicles that come across the State using . high speed WIM systems. We only have one static system in the State. Most of our high speed WIMs are on our ramps. Additionally we have 40 additional sites throughout the State to monitor traffic that comes in and out of the State to see what time trucks are moving and if they are carrying excess loads. We have four sea ports that we're connecting to that we're improving the roadway systems to get in and out of as well as doing some other things here in the State that Jack will talk about coming up with the Port of Jacksonville and several others who have asked us to help and do some work with them. I just had a call this week to do additional work with companies who are working with the Governor and would like for me to work with them to try and improve the movement of freight in and out of the ports.
We have 20 airports and numerous other roadside facilities that we also have electronic toll collection booths. We currently have a network of 26 connected sites that could become connected to an additional 100 sites if and when we ever move forward in that area.
Target technologies that we have, we have a virtual weigh station, currently at Punta Gorda, but some of the technologies we've tested have included what we call our remote operating compliance system that looks at a vehicle and takes several pictures of the vehicle as it goes down, very covertly that will tell us what the vehicle weighs by axle and how fast he's going and we also get a good picture of the vehicle itself including the U.S. DOT number , if we can pick it out. On the bottom center, you see a three dimensional measurer that can measure a vehicle on the fly at 70 miles an hour, for height, length, and width, and it was tested effectively and we found that it did work. These are all technology, University of Central Florida has helped us test and then in the bottom right as many of you have been involved with the infrared testing technology, another technology we have deployed and we're looking to see if we can't deploy something that would be in a fixed situation as well to be able to look at brakes. We have a virtual weigh station as I said at Punta Gorda, Florida. This was put in place because we seem to have a lot of vehicles running through the Punta Gorda getting off before the virtual weigh station, getting off before the weight station on I-75 both North and southbound. Going around on US 41 through the local community and then getting back on the interstate. The public seems to think that this is just a way to get by our weigh station so we've tried to identify whether or not that's true. At this point I don't think we have anything good to say that's . what's happening. A lot of these trucks are delivering things into the community but basically when they get off, we weigh them, take pictures of them, send pictures back to the station that also send pictures to the enforcement officers in their vehicles and depending on the weight, we'll go and we'll pull them over so we can do some weighing. There's an area of the way the virtual weigh station is set up is it shows you that we have license plate reader camera, a WIM, a side-view camera, and then also on the other side we have a license plate reader camera again and what we're doing is looking at the vehicle if he comes off first and gets all of his data, if we need to pull him off and weigh him we will. But when he gets back on the interstate we want to take a picture of him again just to see if he did just get off and get back on and try and do a timing of when he got off and when he got back on.
This is what the technology looks like. You've got a camera and then the communications capability there on the left and the vehicle, the officer gets a picture of it on his laptop along with the axle weights and then there's a loop in the roadway there as they come off or on the ramp so we get a weight for them.
Once we have that we pull him over, we use static scales and I threw this in here because a lot of people have never seen a static scales. This is what our officers use on a daily basis and it takes a lot of work on their part to get these vehicles and weigh them, so that's where they are.
With that I think we are going to move it over to Jack and let Jack talk about the Port of Jacksonville and some of the things we're doing with the port and other areas.
Thanks, Mike and I want to thank Mike for allowing us to participate in today's program. I think what both Rick and Mike said in terms of that truck, it's very important to understand that the truck is probably going to be at the beginning, at the end of that commodity delivery, and so having that kind of vehicle on the highway, we want to be sure that it not only is safe and secure but it is using and not abusing the system itself.
I think key to us in our work with Mike Akridge and the Florida Department of Transportation is the fact of the matter of we have been asked to test and deploy or deploy and test and evaluate a variety of ITS technologies for CVO operations and so this good University support and partnership with FDOT has been very beneficial to our work and we believe we've provided some value to Mike as well.
The whole concept for our Port of Jacksonville project, really it provided us an opportunity really to initiate and develop and deploy a fully integrated commercial vehicle compliant freight mobility, safety and security system. Here, we have , um -- there we go. It's given us an opportunity to really take some technologies that we were working on for Mike Akridge and the CVO program. We had established a test bed on I-95 at a static scale in Flagler County and we were testing a variety of things for Mike. It turned out, however, that because of the construction at that particular area, it seemed to be ongoing and it continues to be ongoing and I imagine when I stop driving it will continue to be ongoing. We wanted to get the material and the technology out to really see how it worked real time, so the Port of Jacksonville provided us that opportunity, but to make it all work and to make it really happen, we had to have these kinds of stakeholders involved and thanks to make Ander, we got an additional stake holder into the process with Horizon Communications Systems which is a spin off of Verizon Shippers who are now working with us to provide some real time data on the container and on what's in the container, so that's a big thing for us. So those are the kind of cooperative agreements and shareholders and stakeholders that we really feel have to be in the mix, and I think as we move through this, more people you have and you can get involved in the projects, the better off you are.
Really, this is, we build it as a compliance project first and it's migrating a little bit on us to the good side. We wanted to test really and deploy and test the systems that you see there into a fully integrated system so that we would know as much about that truck and load before it actually got on to the highway system, and then be able to pass that information along the line to either officers in a car, to a static weigh station, or to a variety of other people, either in real time or into a database.
So these are the technologies that we are looking at right now in the deployment at the Port of Jacksonville. We have non intrusive weight measure, OCR being put in, vehicle identification and dimension, data we're building and sharing a huge amount of data through a data warehouse system. We're looking at pre-system compliance and that is we want to make sure that that truck is as compliant as it should be before it enters the system and then it provides us a really a good test bed, a real time test bed to test other technologies as need be.
Here is a little picture of the scanning technology that we're using and it's currently in operation. You can see that we get a nice picture of the truck in a couple different ways. We get weights on all of the axles, and we get the spacing between the axles. We get the classification of the truck and the speed of the truck and that's all-time stamped so we know when and where so to speak that's coming from. That data is then pushed wirelessly down to a static weight station that's three or four miles down the way before that truck gets there, so there's some trouble, the Operators, the compliance folks at that static weigh station have an opportunity to look at it first and then make a decision as to whether to pull the truck over or not.
For the Jacksonville project, we have another dimension which is essentially when they go over the strips, we not only get that picture and all of the other things that you saw there but in this particular situation, we're telling the truck driver, this is your weight. Now, you know, that driver may have a certificate that says I can drive overweight. I'm good to go. So it's a way of telling the driver that this is your weight , at this point we are not using it immediately for compliance purposes but it will be eventually moved into that direction and I just saw an article today that came out of France where they're dealing with the same issue of virtual WIM technology and the use of it foreign enforcement. It's very interesting.
This is just the basic diagram of the system. I won't bore you with all of the detail, but it's been a very valid system. We're getting excellent weight reads and speed reads from the system that we have currently deployed out in the panhandle of Florida, and the motor carrier compliance folks have gone out there with us, looked at the speeds that we've recorded on our technology on a stick, if you will, and then compared it with radar readings and weight readings and we're must or minus 4% of their numbers.
This is another area that we've been fairly successful in and that's the reading the DOT number. We've written software that basically when it looks at a truck, it looks for that number. It searches the entire front of the truck to find that number and where it can read it, it will read it. The issues that we've run into basically are a matter of contrast issues where somebody has very nicely made a black lettering on a black truck.
Again, we take the data and we're pushing it out to a variety of places. It can be done wirelessly for the Port of Jacksonville. They're getting the data on a hardwire arrangement and we are also going to start sharing this information as I mentioned before with the shipper so that everybody is going to be in the mix with this data sharing, and we think that's really important.
These are the impacts that we think will come out of our project. We feel pretty confident about many of them because we have a full up deployment in use but for us and as Mike pointed out earlier, Mike Akridge pointed out earlier, for us, that bottom line is collecting and transmitting valuable data without stopping commerce. That is really key for us in our State.
Some of the future activities that we're looking at with Mike right now is obviously we want to continue the applied research with FDOT. We want to do things that are in need for our State Department of Transportation. We want to engage more freight stakeholders. We talk a great deal about intermodal. We want to bring rail into the picture. We would like to talk a little bit more with shippers, eventually we would like to get down to even talking to the people where the UPS's of the world and DHL's of the world to understand their role in this thing. The port people have been extremely helpful in this whole process and they see the advantage for themselves of this kind of data warehouse sharing of all the data that you're collecting intermodal from a variety of sources. There's some policy and Resource issues here that I'm not smart enough to talk about, but I think you can see the implications there. We would also look at things that look at an intermodal web portal that really let people go into the portal and see all the issues what states are doing, etc, Forums, government objectives, that kind of thing.
Our next application will be a multi-lane application probably on I-95. We've already talked to the Port of Miami about doing this and they're anxious to get started on a multi-lane type project similar to what we're doing at the Port of Jacksonville. I want to have actually multiple stations feeding that data to one large data warehouse and then it can be accessed by anybody who is authorized. For us, we think including, and this is very important, it's just not the weight of the truck and so fourth. It's some of the things that Rick talked about earlier. It's the driver. It's the truck itself. All of these items, the more data that you can collect and put it into a useful data warehouse for others to draw from makes a very powerful data that people can use and use to the benefit of the whole system.
So that's my part of the deal, and thank you very much and we'll take questions later on.
Thank you, Jack, and thank you again. We have a number of questions posted that we'll get to at the end of the seminars and actually I should have said thank you, Mike, as well.
Our final presentation of the day is going to be given by Nasim Uddin by the University of Alabama at Birmingham and if you give me a minute I'll bring up your presentation.
Thank you. Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen, it's my pleasure to make this presentation. So this is the basically the B-WIM for bridge enforcement and structural safety, a project funded by UTCA in collaboration with the Alabama Department of Transportation, and it's basically the team of research that includes three parts of the University of Alabama system.
The main objective of this project that we are working on actually is to learn and to investigate, particularly the B-W IM system to control heavy vehicle overload, and to elaborate the suitable bridge types, based on the experience and then how to design them. Basically, there's enforcement, and the second objective is build with effort Management as you know by reducing the traffic load Management so you can get better calculations of the traffic loads and also accordingly planning the funding allocation, and the final, you know, the freight planning, probably the more fun part of the three where you can make some assumptions to plan for the future.
It's been a lot of study, actually, since May 17th on this B-WIM system where they consider like working and the influenced line, we have sensor data to figure out axle loads and you see a formula for the assessment, and including the axle load and other information which I'll show you in a minute, it can figure out exactly the load that went through the bridge.
The potential benefit of subsystem actually is really the delivery of enforcement, the reduction in the number of vehicles to stop because you're doing everything on the run and the vehicle is moving in full speed, thereby controlling emissions, controlling also the non-permitted, non-compliant and I'll show you some slides on that and it also provides ongoing performance monitoring including the freight planning.
Now, this is the sum of the test data which is called environmental test data and that really compares to the different WIM system, and you can see on the left-hand side is the error interval, and you can see the comparing different WIM system, and those letters, DCC what it signifies, if you have C-type grading, it's really the minimum acceptable for enforcement purposes and if you have an A type at the margin then it's almost like a lab controlled position which you might need for the actual purposes but if you have a C-type grade it's good enough for enforcement and if it's larger than C, then it really doesn't do any good except for freight planning. Freight planning can deal with higher error intervals, but what the main point here is really to see how SIW which we are really working on in this project has a much higher degree compared to other existing WIM system that is available right now, so that is our main interest for this particular system and to work on this project using this system.
And this slide shows how this system works as I mentioned earlier as the truck goes over the bridge, it works like a scale, and on the left-hand side, that black box, actually that holds all of the software parts and all of the hook ups , including the gauges that are on the bottom of the bridge so the truck driver cannot see anything on the top, and most of the calibration performance is inside of the black box, and they are good for any condition, if you compare the sensor which is really losing its effectiveness over time for different weather conditions, so it's very environmental friendly in terms of many ways, and this is how the sensor looks like. It's on the bottom of the bridge and this is how overall they look like including the hook up and on the bottom you can see that box and this is the signal processing unit. Again, it's hooked up in the site, and now this is the interesting part. As you see, as the truck goes through the bridge, that box performed all of the calculation and you can see the track on the bottom, there's a red dot right in the middle that is showing 19, 23 T and what is showing that axle load exceeded the legal, now, the legal tolerance of this axle, and like the way it raised a flag and if I go to the next slide, it's going to send to the enforcement agency downstream so that they can enlarge it and I'll Get into that in a minute but the whole point is it not only calculates each load at different axles but also it checked out for that particular truck if any of the axles exceeding legal limit and they will raise the flag accordingly.
So, in addition to those, these are the advantages, a list of them. I'm not going to go all through all of those things but as you see quickly, it's portable, it has very high accuracy and you can quickly install them in few hours, you don't see any pavement influence because you aren't cutting the pavement and all those things and we'll get into some of those in the next slide.
So what you're doing right now, we're working on a task plan and we are going to install the system and we are going to get the influence line and then we do the calibration and do the data processing and then find the de-install the system but I get some of those issues in the next few slides.
Now this is how the calibration is being done. As you see on the right hand slide, the truck is moving on over the bridge, and then for the calibration it was being measured on the static weight and from that, you perform those numbers and calculations and go through that and then you get the result of axle load and the gross vehicle weight , axle distance, speed, class, exact time, and also the temperature. For example, why temperature is there because the results can be temperature sensitive. For example, in the French, they are looking at how a change of one degree Celsius can change the results and they are also looking at high wind, how the high wind and speed are affecting the truck and that also affects the data.
Now this time, I think I'd very much like to invite Tom Kearney to help in Europe and who had an experience with this equipment. Tom, can you come over and, you know, shed some light on this system and some of the experiences?
Thank you, Nasim. Yes, we were in Slovenia and we did meet with the research folks at the National Institute of Civil Engineering working in partnership with personnel from Cestel who is the manufacturer/producer of the Si-WIM system that Nasim is presenting to you today. What we noticed in Slovenia was the short orthotropic or rigid deck bridges were being primarily used for the bridge W IM system and using predominantly for freight planning, for traffic monitoring purposes, also for pre-screening, for weight enforcement, but one very interesting aspect that we did witness was the field verification of permits when an international commercial vehicle was coming into Slovenia and they were applying for a weight based permit, the driver applying for the permit declared a weight that he was carrying on the permit, the permit was not legal at that point. The truck was directed to drive over one of the bridge WIM systems in operation that day to get a field verification of the actual weight on the bridge, Cestel had to have an employee sign the permit that was being faxed in with the declared weight to show concurrence at the point that Cestel signed the permit, it was then legal and made available back to the driver. So it is really being used and it's been integrated right into the business model of size and weight enforcement and compliance over in Slovenia. Thank you, Nasim.
Yeah, thanks, Tom. So once you get those data now, you can use those data, you know the traffic analysis and the freight planning, the maintenance planning, the pre-selection for the static weighing, the monitoring of the overload vehicles as Tom was alluding to and then of course, you figure out the maximum load, the bridge capacity, the safety assessment for the bridges and so fourth so those data come a long way to do a good man it things for us.
Just an example of the maintenance sector and enforcement. We know that typically, around the construction site, you have a chance of overloading and creating trouble, and so you can use the system now, excuse me, for the pre-selection and that is a camera taking the pictures and you see this now on the fourth row, you can see a red box and so what it's doing, in this particular truck is exceeding legal limit in one of the axles, so it sending the signal to a PDA held by enforcement officers downstream, so that he can get alerted and he will stop the truck and take it to the center and then this is again an interesting way of displaying how the public is on the left and the private Company working together to write the ticket and Tom, do you know anything about this slide that you can share, I mean the collaboration things we're doing, public and private enterprise in Slovenia?
Yes, Nasim. Once again, what we see in the picture here on the left side are National Enforcement Officers, a detail for a weight enforcement action and on the right side there's a gentleman with a black jacket on who is having interaction with the driver. He works for a private firm called Roberts. Roberts is contracted by the Slovenian Government to assist in the weighing of the vehicles and to assist in adding capacity to their enforcement program. The gentleman will weigh the vehicle as he's rolling on to a portable scale, and that's a roll pad. He will weigh the vehicle. He will record the weight but the enforcement officers are still required to be on site at least one of them to sign the citation if think is a violation but the public private partnership aspect is that the entire action is not completed by public officials, the private sector is being contracted to assist.
Thanks, Tom. And so not only the enforcement again as you see there are, you know, we can perform the safety assessment based on the data. You can get the assessment of the dynamic effects but also again as Tom was telling a story about a special situation and that also can be done through the system and this is an example of some of the special transport.
Again, in terms of the bridge maintenance, you can get very important data from the system like synchronized data from the traffic load effects including the stresses and strains and also you can make it a part of the bridge monitoring system so that based on analysis from those data, you can really make a very conclusive and well thought out decision which bridge is more a priority in terms of replacement and so fourth and not only that but because you are not making an assessment of the live load by running numbers but you're getting an actual live load throughout the time, day, year, all the season, you are getting more accurate safety in that factor for the bridge and more accurate decision accordingly.
Now, this is the milestone chart we have on this project that we are working on. We are done with actually one, two, and three, we are hoping that the equipment is going to be in any time soon and we, I'll show you what's been ended and we are also calling for a symposium, that is the Number five item is going to be in May 2008 and we are calling for that and you see on the bottom the website and you can see the information regarding the symposium, actually a detail on that. And hopefully, we'll have some data to share with participants in the symposium and also demonstrate how we are doing it and they can have an experience about the system and of course, you're going to have the final report and that is also posted on the same website. Not only that, we are also working with actually talking to the French team working on a number of projects on the high speed WIM system, and we are hoping to start a collaboration process as to share some of the work on the multi-span bridge and then must work like a team so that we can help each other and so fourth. We also submitted a paper to TID based on our task one, two, and three, and all three are working on the poster for confidence on issue and that's on October 22-23 this year.
And this is the bridge we are going to work on, once the equipment is ready and once we can get started. This is our overall team and the project that we've been working on. We have a project Advisory Group that includes Tom Carney and other higher officials. Our PI, Bill Hitchcock is managing that and myself in charge of testing instrumentations and the data analysis but we have other folks like Jason Kirby on the bridge selection side, Talat Abu and Jim Richardson and Houssam Toutanji, so we're all working towards this project and hopefully get something done interestingly for this purpose.
With that I'm going to conclude my presentation and look forward to get some questions from you. Thank you very much.
Thank you, Nasim and I hope everybody enjoyed all of these presentations. We're now going to go ahead and get started with the question and answer session. I'll start with the questions posted online and once we get through those if there's enough time then we can open up the phone lines for questions.
I'm going to go ahead and start with some of the questions for Nasim and Tom since we just finished with that presentation. To the first question, I'll ask and Tom this is for you is can you please comment on the limitation of the system you talked about that is used in Slovenia?
Yes, Houssam, unfortunately at this time, the bridge WIM systems that are used in Slovenia are the short orthotropic deck or a very rigid deck bridge and short meaning I think the maximum and Nasim correct me, about 30 meter running about 9,100' long?
And they are two lane bridges out on the motor way system, primarily the bridge WIM system in Slovenia is set up such that the probability of a dual vehicle occurrence on the deck at the same time would be very minimal, so the limitation is the influence lines have been calculated and have been developed under the assumption that they are weighing a single vehicle. As Nasim pointed out, the French are well along in their research outside of Nancy in I guess it would be Northeast France, they have a multi-lane, multi-span bridge that's been under investigation now for over a year where there is based on the volumes we witnessed roadside, there is constantly multiple trucks on that bridge deck and the applied research that's being conducted is to try and separate these trucks as separate events and develop a series of influenced lines, very very difficult, very challenging research undertaking, but one that the University of Alabama, Birmingham on the BWIM system on the investigation of the Si WIM system as they described, they are going to collaborate with the French on a research framework and on disclosing findings back and fourth. This is going to turn into a joint research initiative. The French are very excited to think that they would have partners in the U.S. Undertaking the same problem. This is all built off of the European scan tour of 2006 and it was a very high priority it and in a service implementation team leader and I know my partner and friend Ted that assists me in that regard is participating today, but this was a very very, this was one of the jewels of the scan tour from last year, and I deeply appreciate the way University of Alabama stepped forward and said: We like this, we like the opportunities, a system like this offers, and they engaged immediately and facilitating a research undertaking to the thank you to the entire team at University of Alabama.
The next question is: How does Si WIM compare and cost to other weigh in motion equipment? Is it suitable for all bridge design types?
Is this for me? Okay, let me try to answer that. Regarding the cost, I mean, we did not look at the cost provision, with the other WIM system but this one I think costs in the order of 100-$130,000 including the software and the hardware and installations. What was the other question?
Is it suitable for all bridge design types?
Right. As Tom was saying, I think it's been demonstrated to produce results for a stiff, single span, less than 30 meter type bridge. The French are working on a multi-lane, multi-span bridge and we're going to be working on again multi-span bridge with two lanes. So I think it's been proven very successful for a small span stiff type slab, stiff type structures but I think we are most making a head on on how to learn and getting learning experience on how to use them for the different types of bridges. That's one of the issues we tried to resolve and we're going to work on it hard actually to get into that. But yes, right now, it is a single Stan type bridges is very suitable but I think other types of the bridge is going to be suitable once we get the results from the French team and we gain some experience with our own project.
Jennifer let me take a shot at cost also. Let's look at cost in terms of the life cycle cost of the equipment itself. As Nasim has demonstrated, the censors are being introduced in the underbelly of the bridge. They aren't being put out in a travel way. A system that several thousand dollars you're putting in the pavement, you're basically replacing that in a three to four year cycle. A load cell that might have much greater durability is double the price of a bridge WIM system. You saw through the accuracy measurements on the one slide that Nasim presented that BWIM system with properly calculated and properly calibrated influence line calculations can achieve the same accuracy as a load cell. So the cost in terms of no wear and tear on the telemetry, no direct contact by traffic, the expectation would be that the set up would have an unbelievably long service life, so price competitive, it would be very attractive.
And how about the cost estimates for the installation of a BWIM on an existing structure?
Again, that's what we are working on, I think is on the order of 100,000-120,000 total including the software, equipment, and installation.
Okay and let's add another cost component which is I want to put a load cell, I want to talk to my maintenance staff, I've got to set up a shut down on a lane, I need to go out into a travel way, cut into the pavement structure, corrupt the integrity of the pavement structure with the introduction of a foreign object, if you will, BWIM system, ours. You're going in with concrete nail gun and you're setting up your data hub on the side wall of the bridge and then you are fastening your censors to the underbelly. It's a matter of hours with absolutely no interruption with traffic flow.
Actually, it's portable and you can get everything done in four to six, eight hours and then take it to other bridges, really without as Tom was saying interfering with the bridge structure itself. You just put it there and take it out. It's very convenient.
And another question just came in, how do you suppose this would work on a short steel structure?
Tom, any input on that? As far as I know, I know that the French group tried with the steel or slab type structure but not the steel girder.
And that's right. The super structure on the multi-lane, multi-span and Nancy, it's steel, but no, I don't know off the top of my head if it's a rigid or a deck, I don't know how much more variation there would be and the influence line call queue lanes but it might be an interesting problem.
Okay and we'll move on to some questions for Rick now. First question is will you be exploring how to integrate commercial vehicles into the current VII day one application as well as additional applications and commercial vehicle specifically?
Okay. And are you working with other State DOT's on the CVII program?
We've talked to some other states. We would certainly be interested anybody who thinking there might be a role for them. The VII program nationally involves a number of states such as Michigan and California, so I guess the simple answer is yes. For our specific CVII program at this point, we've put out a request for information and really have asked interested parties to respond to us with kind of their high level concept and ideas and issues and anything else they want, they might want to send to us and we'll sit down with a number of people including Tom and Mary grace from I-95 to kind of vet through all of the responses and then decide what the process will be and really if there's more dialogue or issues we need to discuss with some of the potential interested parties. So the CVII applications in the work we're doing really are transferable to any corridor or any installation that would be VII capable, so we're really kind of focusing on the truck side, on the cab side of the truck, how that vehicle can communicate to the roadside and to other VII equipped passenger cars. So it's certainly the more eyes, the more brains we've got involved we're interested. I'm not sure if a State DOT, however, has an active role unless maybe it's a neighboring State such as New Jersey or Connecticut or Massachusetts that might want to install some equipment and we can do more regional application testing and demonstration.
Okay. The next question is have you started working on what vehicle status measurements you'll include in the roadside safety monitoring, such as tire pressure, brake stroke, lamp status, seat belts fastened?
We haven't defined it completely. We in our RFI announcement we put some examples of things with we would want to do such as brake status and light status and what not. I guess part of the answer there is kind of the experts on the truck side on the data bus side of the truck as to what data is available with the equipment that's in the trucks now, is there anything we could add that would improve the data and what we're really trying to look at is that information, that data and those outputs that have direct safety applications and indicators so we're not so much looking for dashboard indicators as we are the actual mechanical device that really affords the safety. So we don't want to just see the brake light status on the Board and I'm certainly not an expert on any of this, the ins and outs of brakes for instance but I'm sure there's some kind of measurement that a brake through or whatever and that would be more of the type of data we're looking for, and we have had discussions with federal motor carrier with Jeff Loftus, and I'm going to presume without being familiar with what they're doing that it's kind of the same standard message sets and the same status of equipment and appliances and what not on the truck. So the answer is no, we haven't defined that and we're really looking for this RFI process to start giving us some indication from those that know what is available on the truck and then once we kind of define what is available, we'll look at that to see what has some direct safety benefits.
Okay, thank you. This next question I believe it came in during Mike's presentation and I should have mentioned this before though, for any of the presenters if you do want to jump in on any of the questions feel free to. The question is: Is there any State that can issue citations from virtual weigh station information only?
I almost typed my answer. I think most of the folks know, there is not. The problem is that it has to be a certified scale to be able to .sale for legal tender and in this case, because it's on the move, you can't use it. You have to certify the scale and have a vehicle sitting on it. So that's why the static scales are used and why the portable scales are used because they are calibrated and they can be used. I think we're getting closer. I think Jack mentioned that in Europe, they're moving that way. I think we will see it in ten years but we don't have it now and I don't think it will be in the short-term.
Mike, this is Tom Kearney. Can I put a footnote on that? France was going through a long process of getting the metro zero-G, the community to adopt standards for WIM and they are on the path for low speed WIM for direct enforcement and in Belgium we did see low speed WIM which would be the WIM system set up on the ramps. Not on the highway, not high speed but low speed WIM being set up for direct enforcement. When the folks in Belgium went to get the judiciary knowledgeable on this new enforcement approach, they threw up their hands and discussed and went to the national parliament and empowered the enforcement community to actually a Judy indicate cases where WIM was being used for weight enforcement which means the guy who weighed your truck is not only the arresting officer, the expert witness but he's also the judge when you walk in the courtroom. So think is a hole we have not even begun the dialogue regarding the judiciary and the basic knowledge they would need to possess to understand that citation coming in from the field using this technology or even an administrative law judge on a penal action. There's a whole awareness and education challenge ahead of us in the U.S. To get to direct ticketing.
Tom, this is Jack Selter. I'm going to get the article that I pulled out and I'm going to see if Jennifer will be kind enough to put it up on the web. I think everybody would enjoy it and I think it just pretty much collaborates what you're saying there. The other thing that we just make a note on is that we understand that the technologies that are, worked on now by ourselves, folks at the University of Alabama, and others do not have the enforcement quality in them yet and there's a long road to go as you just pointed out. But they can be used and they are being used to alert the trained professional that there might be a problem. And that they have probable cause to pull that truck over and do the weighing as they are doing at Punta Gorda and hopefully they will be doing it at other places. So I concur. I'm just pointing out that the technology is developing to the point where it will be good enough. It will be the legislative and judicial sides of that issue that will become longer term.
This is Rick McDonough. I'll just add to that too, and although the technology maybe advancing and we may get to the point where there is equipment that can give us accurate reliable readings that mainline and mainline speed, it all gets back to life cycle costs and benefit costs and if this equipment is too each pensive to install, maintain, operate, then it's probably not going to work.
Okay, thank you. There are two similar questions and I believe this is directed towards you, Jack. Basically asking what percent of successful USDOT number reads are you getting with the OCR?
Well, let me qualify it by saying the way we get our U.S. DOT numbers is when the truck is going at a very slow speed so we're getting almost 100% because that truck is going less than five miles an hour when it goes across our WIM. At the high speed WIM that we have in the panhandle, we're not able to get that U.S. DOT number. What we're doing is getting a good verification and pictures of the truck. We will be trying to get a high speed DOT number out there with our next application. What we have now is 100% OCR reading but that's because that truck is basically going five miles an hour or less and the software finds it quickly and attaches it. So right now, that's where we are with it. The high speed side is another issue all together and that's still being worked on.
Jack, let me also clarify that what Jack is talking about is an 18 wheeler with a cab. When you start talking about box trucks, because the way the law is written, they can put that DOT number at the back of the box and so it really creates a bigger issue, so it depends on the vehicle as well. It's just the location and the way DOT numbers are on vehicles creates a major problem.
The next question already there which is at what speeds are the number images being captured and I think you said it was about five miles per hour?
Nasim, I think I missed a question for you so I'm going to go back to that one. Let me see here. How much weight are you adding to a bridge in order to install a BWIM?
Very minimal. Just the censors, about 12-16 small size censors so it's not going to add any significant weight to the bridge.
The units would be ounces or pounds. And the heavier component, the data hub that Nasim showed you on the side wall once again that's mounted on the side wall and that's not very heavy.
No. It's just hardly a few pounds.
Stainless steel and the censors are very diminutive in their weight.
Okay, well, we got through all of the questions typed in. We still have a little bit of time so we'll see if anybody wants to ask a question over the phone. If you could give instructions on how to do that?
Certainly. [OPERATOR INSTRUCTIONS]. At this time I show no questions.
Okay, well then I think we'll go ahead and close out today's seminar then, just a few minutes early. I want to thank all four presenters for a great presentation today, and thank you, everybody in attendance for attending today's seminar. The recorded version of this event will be available within the next week on the Talking Freight website and as well as the PowerPoint presentations if you were unable to download from the screen and a transcript from the seminars and I'll send an e-mail out to everybody in attendance to let you know when they are available. If you didn't register in advance for the seminars, you can send me an e-mail and that way I'll make sure I have your information.
I do want to mention we're starting to work on topics for the 2008 seminar series and we definitely welcome your ideas on topics. If you do have any suggestions please go ahead and send me an e-mail with your topic suggestion as well as we welcome any recommendations for presenters.
The next seminar will be held on September 19 and is titled "Freight Transportation and Safety." If you haven't done so already, I encourage you to visit the Talking Freight Web Site and sign up for this seminar. The address is up on the slide on your screen. I also encourage you to join the Freight Planning LISTSERV if you have not already done so. Enjoy the rest of your day!