With that last thought in mind, it got us thinking about the implications of a system like this. How exactly will the WRI computer system work? Will it be able to communicate with a truck’s ELD? We read the boring, three-page “Design and Implementation of Wireless Roadside Inspection Systems Letter Report to Congress” here, but couldn’t find specific answers about PRECISELY how the WRI system would get this data. They talked about communications protocols (cellular and satellite-based technologies–the same technologies used by the ELDs), but they never indicated what the WRI system would be communicating with on the CMV side. Even more interesting is this: the letter specifically mentions collecting real-time data on the driver’s license status, carrier operating authority, licensing and insurance, inspection selection score, and HOS. Real-time HOS data? What else might the WRI system communicate with BESIDES the ELD to get all of that in one shot? Again, we read the entire letter to Congress, as well as the FMCSA webpage about it. (We also looked at a PowerPoint presentation from an FMCSA research committee meeting, and some old newsletter from 2009 about the WRI project entering Phase II.) We could not find where they revealed what would be “talking back” to the WRI system from the CMV side.
This whole WRI project thing reminded us of 1984, the classic, dystopian novel by George Orwell about a tyrannical government who has constant, over-reaching surveillance of its own people. We understand we’re a little melodramatic, but these things are a slippery slope…just look at the history of any totalitarian or authoritarian state. Like we said, we’re sleeping a little easier tonight knowing this project has lost funding. But when the government sets their minds to doing something that allows them more power with less effort, they seem to like doing that.
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Latest posts by Bailey Leavitt (see all)
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