“The best bang for the buck!” - 91 % in Cost Savings


The Ohio Department of Transportation equips the state's rest areas with Parquery and saves 91% of costs compared to retired ground sensors


In 2020, truck drivers ranked parking as the foremost issue affecting the trucking industry.

American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), 2020 Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry.

Image by Freepik

Getting adequate rest is essential for truck drivers, particularly long-haul carriers, who spend their days concentrated at the wheel. Road safety and their own and others’ well-being depend on it.

Drivers also depend on rest areas to wait before scheduled pick-up and delivery, called staging. It is a direct result of shippers and receivers permitting truck access within set time frames only, penalties for delays, and congested roads.

Yet, as transportation demands rise, finding suitable rest areas with parking spots grows ever tougher. "Truck drivers can only drive for so long before they're legally required to take a break and the [digital parking guidance] signs help them make their decision where they're going to rest," says Andrew Hunt of the ODOT Office of Traffic Operations.

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) in the north-eastern US state of Ohio solves this by using Parquery's smart parking solution to direct truckers to available spots, ensuring safe rest stops.

Just using our existing camera infrastructure at the 16 rest areas to provide significantly more accurate occupancy data compared to in-pavement sensors. And it is also significantly cheaper than maintaining the in-pavement sensors, close to an 11th of the cost. It was a huge cost savings [of about 91%].

Andrew Hunt, ODOT Office of Traffic Operations


The Need


Get truck drivers the rest they need: Guide drivers in real-time to a vacant space and distribute vehicles across the available rest areas

  • Real-time guidance to vacant rest areas
  • Accurate live parking utilization info
  • Cost-effective solution for taxpayers
    • Replace obsolete ground sensors
    • Upgrade traffic cameras to parking sensors
  • Enhance road safety and traffic flow

Ohio is located at the crossroads of major transportation routes and is within a day's drive of over half the population of the US and Canada. A radius of just 600 miles contains major cities like Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, Philadelphia, and New York City. This has made the state a central hub connecting the Great Lakes, East Coast, and Midwest regions, creating high demand on its road. 

The government agency ODOT operates and maintains the highway infrastructure, manages traffic flows with smart devices such as traffic signals, message signs, and cameras. In particular, ODOT manages all rest areas along the highways, which are most convenient for drivers, because they do not have to leave the highways. 


It is something the trucking industry wanted and needed. There's limited truck parking availability and we want to give the truck drivers ample notice to make a decision. They see the signs across the highways and they can see ‘Hey this rest area up ahead is full. I need to make other arrangements.’ 

Andrew Hunt, ODOT Office of Traffic Operations


ODOT needs accurate and reliable real-time parking information for truck drivers, both for road safety and infrastructure upkeep. If drivers do not find suitable parking spaces, they are forced to continue driving while fatigued or to stop elsewhere. This jeopardizes safety for the drivers themselves and other road users. Besides, heavy trucks damage infrastructure not intended for parking, such as shoulder strips, ramps, local roads or passenger car parking, thus multiplying maintenance costs


Between 2015 and 2019, Ohio had 

  • 106 crashes that involved trucks parked in undesignated locations. They led to 5 deaths, 11 severe and 36 minor injuries.
  • 460 truck crashes due to fatigue, leading to 6 deaths, 50 serious injuries and more than 400 minor or possible injuries. 
CPCS analysis of ODOT crash data, 2020


The pressing issues in truck parking and who else relies on Parquery’s smart truck parking solution to solve them. 

Learn more

ODOT’s rest areas provide parking and refreshments for drivers and are now equipped with Parquery’s camera-based parking occupancy detection system



The Issue with the Existing Ground Sensors

About three to four years ago, ODOT installed truck parking information management system signs and conventional ground or in-pavement sensors across the state. The upfront cost was tremendous, with at least two sensors needed for each stall, and the operating and maintenance costs were significant. Most importantly, ODOT were not satisfied with neither their reliability nor their accuracy. 

These sensors are battery-powered and they weren't all that reliable either. The maintenance was a fairly significant cost for detection that wasn't very good [...].  So, the accuracy of the sensors was pretty bad. 

Andrew Hunt, ODOT Office of Traffic Operations


In order to replace the failing and inaccurate ground or in-pavement only four years after installing them, they were looking for alternative solutions and found Parquery. “We were trying to find something that works with Milestone because all these truck parking locations also have cameras. And we thought, this is something that video analytics could do,”explains Andrew Hunt of the ODOT Office of Traffic Operations. 


Who else relies on Parquery’s smart truck parking?      Find out


Milestone is the leading provider of Video Management Systems (VMS) and offers solutions for video surveillance, security and business optimisation. Parquery is a certified technology partner of Milestone and we integrate our solutions directly into the Milestone platform. Our Smart Parking Plugin allows the Milestone to seamlessly provide parking management data.


The Solution 

Transform existing cameras into parking sensors and direct drivers to a vacant spot in real-time


ODOT’s rest areas were already equipped with CCTV cameras to ensure everyone’s safety while they rest. Therefore, it was easy, quick, cost-effective and risk-free to launch a pilot project to trial Parquery's solution before rolling it out to all rest areas. 

The camera images are analyzed on Parquery’s cloud servers to determine which parking spots are vacant or occupied and for how long. This information is relayed in real-time to about 50 digital signs along the highways across the state that notify drivers of the availability of the upcoming rest stops. 


We started a pilot project using our public cameras. After we determined that this data from Parquery is accurate, we decided to transition away from the in-pavement sensors, and use video analytics all together.

Andrew Hunt, ODOT Office of Traffic Operations

Digital signs along the roads notify truckers of parking availability and allow them to plan ahead.

On the groundwork of the pilot project’s success, the solution was launched within a few months in the entire Ohio highway network. ODOT now monitors 16 rest areas on the key interstate highways I-70 and I-75 that cut across the state east-west and north-south with Parquery. 

In addition to the road-side signs, the data is also posted to Ohio's real-time traffic website, www.ohgo.com, and displayed on in-vehicle truck information systems. Integrating the occupancy data into the traffic management system with Parquery's API was straightforward:

We’re taking [Parquery's] data feed from the API and posting that information to 27 of these physical signs along the roadway across the state, [and] on ohgo.com, which is our one stop shop for trucking information. And lastly, it's also going to some in-cab computers.

Andrew Hunt, ODOT Office of Traffic Operations

Truck drivers, and by extension everyone on the road, benefit greatly from the accurate live parking availability data. 

Truck parking information on the ohgo.com website portal is powered by Parquery’s camera-based solution. 



The Impact

Efficient and effective parking guidance exceeding expectations

  • 91% cost savings and simpler maintenance over ground sensors
  • Superior accuracy compared to ground sensors
  • Seamless transition to and launching of Parquery
  • Bonus: automatic alerts for trucks parked too long
  • Lower costs for infrastructure maintenance thanks to preventing damage from unauthorized parking


Image by Freepik

The three main issues with the existing ground sensors were

  1. lacking reliability,
  2. low accuracy, and
  3. high maintenance costs.

All of those were solved with switching to Parquery’s camera-based solution.

Just using our existing camera infrastructure [and Parquery] provides significantly more accurate occupancy data compared to in-pavement sensors. Now we do everything – the maintenance of the cameras, communications, and power – in-house and it has led to very significant cost savings.

Andrew Hunt, ODOT Office of Traffic Operations


Andrew Hunt particularly pointed out that “the transition to Parquery was really easy,” and maintenance is much simpler and cheaper. Since the cameras are maintained in-house, no additional external contractor is needed.


We wanted to realize an effective solution to maximize the taxpayer dollars who are paying for everything that we do. We wanted to get the best bang for their buck, so to speak! So that's why we wanted the camera solution.

Andrew Hunt, ODOT Office of Traffic Operations

 The dashboard allows the operator to check the cameras, live and past occupancy, enforcement data, statistics and analytics, and configure alarms such as overstaying vehicles.


Bonus: automatic alerts for long parking

A feature of Parquery’s solution that was not in the original requirements but proved very valuable, are automatic alerts for vehicles that park long-term. In the past there had been cases of drivers having died in their truck and the vehicle remaining parked for weeks without anyone knowing. “We didn't really have a way of knowing other than, somebody may notice,” Andrew Hunt highlights the problem.


Image by Freepik

Now, email alarms for trucks that have been there for [a certain amount of time] go directly to the state highway patrol so they can go out and perform a welfare check. So that's an additional benefit that wasn't in the original scope of the project, but since that's something that Parquery can do, that's another benefit that we're getting.

Andrew Hunt, ODOT Office of Traffic Operations


Parquery offers custom alerts for overstaying vehicles.          Find out more

Ohio’s roads have become safer for everyone thanks to parking availability information for trucks


Photos © ODOT unless stated otherwise.


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