New study will test the benefits of using a mobile parking app

Updated Jul 29, 2022
Parking lot layout

Researchers from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute are teaming up with the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and ParkUnload to conduct a truck parking pilot study to better understand how truck drivers use existing parking spaces and to test the benefits of using a mobile parking app. 

This week, select truck parking spaces along Interstates 80 and 94 will be painted green and signs outfitted with Bluetooth devices will be installed, according to a statement from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. These devices will communicate with the ParkUnload app when a driver’s phone is in close proximity to the parking zone. Once the app detects the marked zone, the truck driver can park and check in to the parking space on the app to let other drivers see information on the remaining spaces. Signs will also provide drivers with additional information.

Map of parking areas“Insufficient truck parking presents a safety hazard for all highway users when drivers park in unauthorized locations, drive when fatigued, or drive past their hours of service to find safe parking,” said Transportation Specialist Brian Routhier, from the FMCSA Technology Division. “We’re hoping this study will provide a better understanding of the truck parking needs along these corridors and whether a truck parking app is beneficial to drivers.”

Drivers who travel along the I-80 and I-94 corridors can get started and participate in just three steps:

1.     Download the ParkUnload app

2.     Park and check in to the parking space in the app

3.     When leaving, check out in the app

“For the pilot to work, we need drivers to download the app and check in when they park in a designated parking space,” said TTI Senior Research Scientist Jolanda Prozzi, lead researcher on the study. “If we can collect actual, on-the-ground information, then we can better understand, plan for and prioritize truck parking investments.”

Each month, one truck driver will receive a $150 Amazon gift card for using the app in the marked truck parking spaces. The winning truck driver will be announced at the study's website every month for the duration of the study.

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To learn more about the study, visit https://parkingpilot.org/.

Funding for this study is provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.