North American Transportation Security Center

Grants and Contracts Details


Abstract There are over 800,000 hazmat shipments over the nation's roads each day. According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), terrorist activity related to the transportation of hazardous materials represents a significant threat to public safety and the nation's critical infrastructure. In particular, the federal government has pointed to the government's inability to track hazmat shipments on a real-time basis as a major security vulnerability. In 2004, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) completed a study to determine if "smart truck" technology such as GPS tracking, wireless modems, panic buttons, and on-board computers could be used to enhance hazmat shipment security. The FMCSA study concluded that smart truck technology will be highly effective in protecting hazmat shipments from terrorists. The FMCSA study also concluded that smart truck technology deployment will produce a huge security benefit and an overwhelmingly positive return on investment for hazmat carriers. The FMCSA study led to the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA's) Hazmat Truck Security Pilot. This congressionally mandated pilot program was undertaken to demonstrate if a hazmat truck tracking center was feasible from a technology and systems perspective and to determine if existing truck tracking systems can interface with government intelligence centers and first responders. The Hazmat Truck Security Pilot demonstrated that a hazmat truck tracking center is feasible and in August 2007, Congress enacted legislation that directs TSA to develop a program - consistent with the Hazmat Truck Security Pilot - to facilitate the tracking of motor carrier shipments of security-sensitive materials. This project will support TSA's efforts to implement a hazmat truck tracking center. The University of Kentucky, specifically the Kentucky Transportation Center (KTC) and its partners will expand upon the work completed under the Hazmat Truck Security Pilot by building a functional prototype of a hazmat truck tracking center (Technology Readiness Level 6). A multi-state implementation program will support development of the hazmat truck tracking center into full operational status (Technology Readiness Level 9). This project offers TSA significant benefits. It will efficiently incorporate the work done under the Hazmat Truck Security Pilot into an operational system that can be used by state and federal agencies to track high-risk hazmat shipments on a real-time basis. It will also provide a state/federal implementation framework that TSA might draw upon to speed up deployment of "smart truck" technology by high-risk hazmat carriers, a key to reducing security risks in the nation's hazmat supply chain.
Effective start/end date3/9/096/30/15


  • National Institute for Hometown Security: $5,920,000.00


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