It's said that trucks make the economy move.  Even though industries can use other means to move their product (think rail and plane), trucking remains the volume backbone of the United States marketplace.  Officials with the Minnesota Department of Transportation are working to make the daily work-flow a little easier for the drivers involved.

A new system being rolled out by MNDOT uses technology to alert truck drivers to available parking spaces at rest stops throughout the state.  Drivers are regulated as to how much window time they're allowed in an average day;  highway rest stops are one of the safe areas that truck drivers use to park and rest outside of their hours-of-service.  However, these spaces often fill up - resulting in wasted drive time as truck drivers search for available spots.

The new technology being installed uses in-pavement sensors to detect the presence of parked trucks above it - sending that data to a central bank.  In turn, MNDOT can send that information out to drivers utilizing dynamic message signs.

Funding for the project in the state will cost approximately $1.4 million.  The source of the funds comes from a U.S. DOT TIGER Grant of $25 million, which is being shared with other states.