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Home>News>2012>DOT awards IAI a new contract to develop an Automated Trailer VIN Identification and Sequencing System

DOT awards IAI a new contract to develop an Automated Trailer VIN Identification and Sequencing System

The commercial motor vehicle freight movement in North America uses powered units like tractors, trucks and buses to haul trailers in changing configurations. Tractors work with many types and ages of trailers, since the lifetime of a trailer is usually longer than that of a tractor. Transmitting the trailer’s VIN to the tractor can support optimization of the tractor’s on-board safety systems, wireless roadside inspection, wirelessly streamlining border crossing processes and Smart-Park initiatives. Existing solutions are costly, cannot determine the sequence of the hauled trailers and often do not work with legacy trailers. IAI proposes to develop and test an automated TRailer Vin number Identification and Sequencing system (TRAVIS) using Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) RF transceivers, microcontrollers, and intelligent algorithms to identify and sort the order of trailers attached to the power unit. The key innovation of this system is an extremely low cost, easily deployable and rugged system that consists of two types of units: a trailer-based VIN transmitter and a tractor-based VIN receiver and interpreter connected through a wireless radio. The trailer-based transmitter and tractor-based receiver construct a mesh network to guarantee reliable and low-latency VIN delivery. Along with VINs, trailer wiring status like left/right turn or stop signal are transmitted to prevent cross talk between surrounding units. After collecting the VINs of all the trailers, the tractor-based VIN receiver sorts the order of the trailers based on received signal strength of each packet from the trailers. TRAVIS can be deployed on both modern and legacy trailers. Its feasibility will be demonstrated and a prototype will be developed and field-tested using real tractor and trailers scenarios.

About IAI:
Intelligent Automation, Inc. (IAI) is a technology innovation company headquartered in Rockville, MD. We specialize in providing advanced technology solutions and R&D services to federal agencies, and corporations throughout the United States and internationally. Leveraging agile R&D processes, a multi-disciplinary collaborative environment, and its substantial intellectual property portfolio, IAI excels in developing concepts into market-focused products and customer-driven solutions. IAI’s core R&D areas include: Air Traffic Management, Big Data and Social Media Analytics, Control and Signal Processing, Cyber Security, Education and Training Technologies, Health Technologies, Modeling and Simulation, Networks and Communications, Robotics, and Sensor Systems. For more information on IAI, please visit

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