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Home>News>2013>DoT awards IAI a follow-on contract to develop an Automated Trailer VIN Number Identification and Sequencing System

DoT awards IAI a follow-on contract to develop an Automated Trailer VIN Number Identification and Sequencing System

The North America Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) often uses powered units like tractors to haul a variety of towed units like trailers and dollies in often changing configurations. Tractors work with many varieties of trailers, since the lifetime of a trailer is typically much longer than that of a tractor. Transmitting the VIN(s) of trailers and their sequences to the powered unit can help in with roadside inspection, border crossing, smart parking, connected vehicle initiative, and optimization of the tractor's on-board safety system. Existing solutions are costly, cannot determine the sequence of hauled trailers and often do not work with legacy trailers. IAI and its collaborator, Meritor WABCO, propose to build entitled an automated “Trailer VIN Number Identification and Sequencing System (TRAVIS), using Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) RF transceivers, microcontrollers, and expert algorithms to identify the number of towed units attached to the powered unit, their VINs and attachment order, and other key vehicle and sensor data. The key components of the system are a trailer-based VIN transmitter and a tractor-based VIN receiver/interpreter. The modular components of TRAVIS can be customized into a basic version that transmits only the VIN and other vehicle data stored on the non-volatile memory of the device. In addition, an advanced version is available that has other sensors such as video cameras, and load sensors for enhanced trailer safety and security features. This advanced version can interface with trailer sensors to improve safety and productivity. The proposed system has been tested for feasibility on a real tractor-trailer combination vehicle, and will be further improved and tested in a vehicle operational environment, with more complicated scenarios and tractor-trailer configurations.

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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