August 2016

The Virginia DMV partners with Intelligent Imaging Systems to provide better commercial vehicle inspections

When it comes to commercial vehicle safety, jurisdictions have a difficult task on their hands: There is no reasonable way for a state or province to inspect every commercial vehicle that enters and leaves its borders. Because of this, jurisdictions often look to technological solutions that can make inspections easier and more effective. One state that has been embracing technology in this area and finding great success is Virginia.

“Virginia is open for business,” says Michael Baxter, director of Motor Carrier Size & Weight Services for the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, referring to the state’s willingness to work with new vendors and find new solutions for recurring problems. In the business of commercial vehicle safety, one vendor with whom the Virginia DMV works is Intelligent Imaging Systems (IIS), the creators of the Smart Roadside platform and the owners of Drivewyze.

In Virginia, IIS currently provides and maintains a truck electronic screening (e-screening) program using automatic license plate readers and the Drivewyze truck bypass system, as well as other projects, such as the state’s infrared inspection van fleet. Each of these elements is linked through the Smart Roadside software, so all elements can be centrally managed at one site. The first Smart Roadside e-screening system in Virginia—the state now has eight—was installed on I-95 in 2010 and was an immediate success.

“Within the first two months it paid for itself,” says Baxter. “That pretty much woke up everybody. To give you an example of how successful the license plate reader is: Last April, we identified 190 trucks with outstanding revenues of $76,000. When we first started using it we were getting astronomical revenue collection, and once word got around people became compliant.”

Baxter was impressed with IIS’s collaborative process and their ability to develop background architecture for the DMV’s system that conformed to their requirements but still worked seamlessly. The partnership between the Virginia DMV and IIS remains a true collaboration to this day.

“I think the closest relationships are born from having both challenges and wins,” says Brian Heath, president and CEO of IIS. “The fact that you can work through those challenges that a partner like Virginia [might have] with them, that’s the kind of partnership you want. It’s not a one-way street; it’s very much a two-way street.”

Heath appreciates Virginia’s open approach to working with vendors and recognizes that working with the Virginia DMV pushes his employees to find solutions they may not have seen otherwise.

“With the Virginia folks, there’s a recognition that one size doesn’t fit all,” says Heath. “And that relates to their investment in Smart Roadside, where they can work with us to find potential solutions to their challenges. And as you work with them to deliver those solutions, you realize that there are other benefits to gain.”

Baxter agrees with Heath’s assessment of their partnership. “They’re at the top of their game,” he says. “We communicate monthly as far as Drivewyze and Smart Roadside are concerned, and we’re constantly looking to how we can improve. Whenever you can find a vendor that is looking to make its system more efficient and at the same time doesn’t charge you—that’s a good thing.”