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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Forecasting Truck Parking Using Fourier Transformations


Truck-based transportation is the predominant mode used to transport goods and raw materials within the United States. While trucks play a major role in local commerce, a significant portion of truck activity is also long haul in nature. Long-haul truck drivers are continuously faced with the problem of not being able to secure a safe parking spot since many rest areas become fully occupied, and information about parking and availability is limited. Truck drivers faced with full parking lots/facilities either continue driving until a safe parking spot is located or park illegally. Both scenarios pose a hazard to the truck driver, as well as the surrounding road users. Disseminating forecasts of parking availability to truck drivers may help mitigate this hazard, since many truck drivers plan their parking in advance of arrival. Building on 1 year of nearly continuous truck parking data collection, this paper proposes and demonstrates a method for developing a dynamic forecasting model that can predict truck parking occupancy for any specified time within the present day, using only truck parking occupancy data from a trucking logistics facility in the northern San Joaquin Valley during 2016. Different versions of the dynamic model were studied and verified against successive weekdays with performance measured using the root-mean-square error (RMSE). Results indicated that for a particular day, the maximum error can range between 13 and 40 trucks, about 5% of the absolute maximum capacity of the facility.

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