The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration continues to amp up its focus leveraging technology to enhance motor carrier safety and enforcement. The Agency has several focus areas where it is increasing its emphasis on deploying critical technology. In the President’s 2025 Budget request to Congress, FMCSA requested $106 million for Information Technology and Management – an increase of 69 percent over FY 2024. For its Research and technology budget, the Agency requested $26 Million, an increase of 85 percent. Embedded in the Department of Transportation’s National Roadway Safety Strategy are several specific actions being taken by FMCSA relating to technology. Importantly, these investments are not just for the Agency and the states to enhance their compliance and enforcement efforts, several focus on education about the safety benefits of technology.

FMCSA will hold its annual Safety Research Forum in April. It is a virtual event being held over two days on April 24 and 25 from 1:00 to 4:00 PM eastern time each day. This year’s Forum will include presentations from FMCSA’s Analysis and new Crash Data Analytics Divisions (April 24) and the Applied Research and Advanced Technology Divisions (April 25). STC has attended many of these events in the past, and they provide good insight into the Agency’s priorities and the results of many of their initiatives, projects, and programs. FMCSA also has details posted on their web site from their prior Forums.

Another example is FMCSA’s TechCelerate Now program, which aims to accelerate the adoption of advanced driver assistance systems. The Agency recently announced Phase 2 and the project team includes a who’s who of industry associations, with ATRI, OOIDA and ATA’s TMC on the team. The first phase of the project delivered a final report, a safety guide and a ROI calculator to help advance the industry’s knowledge and deployment of the varied solutions that are available.

While safety technology in trucking is here to stay, it is important that motor carriers and drivers take the time to conduct their due diligence when understanding the lifecycle costs and benefits, and how the technologies integrate into their operations. The government is doing its part to help educate the industry on these points, but each motor carrier and driver has the ultimate responsibility to make sure it is the right fit.