Everyday hundreds of commercial vehicles are processed through your inspection station. While your Smart Roadside system is checking the vehicle records against several databases to ensure regulatory compliance, how do you know if the truck’s mechanicals are in safe condition? IIS can help with our patented Automated Thermal Inspection System or ATIS.

How Does It Work?

ATIS increases efficiency by allowing officers to focus their efforts on trucks requiring further investigation. With thermal inspection technology, random inspections can be replaced with qualified inspections, taking more dangerous trucks off the road.

This technology significantly reduces the time to screen vehicles for critical safety defects. ATIS uses thermal cameras to automatically inspect each wheel set as a truck exits the highway and approaches your station. These thermal cameras are looking for temperature differences within identical mechanical components. Unlike other tire detection technologies on the market, ATIS detects more than flat tires to identify nearly five times[1] the known issues that cause crashes:

  • Inoperative brakes
  • Failed bearings
  • Damaged tires

With a properly maintained truck each type of individual component (hubs/brakes/tires) across all the wheel sets should be the same temperature. Signs of wheel bearing failures, loose wheels, flat tires, and non-operational or out of adjustment brakes can all be detected by a difference in temperature.

For example, if one wheel hub is hotter than the others it indicates a failing bearing. A brake shoe that is hotter than the others could be dragging, creating more heat than the others, and a cooler brake shoe is an indication that it’s not functioning properly. A tire hotter than the others indicates an under-inflated or damaged tire that is likely to fail.

Enforcement personnel are alerted to unsafe vehicles via the Smart Roadside system.

Firsthand Experience

When this writer was visiting an inspection station in New Mexico one of the officers drew my attention to a loaded flat-bed approaching the weigh station. On his Smart Roadside screen, he had an alert on the truck, indicating that it had a problem with an overheated tire. “This guy’s got a bad tire on the far side and I bet he doesn’t know it, let’s take a look”. Visually, all the truck’s tires looked fine, but one tire was noticeably hotter to the touch than the others. In a matter of time that tire would have failed and blown out at highway speed. Instead, by using ATIS the officer was able identify the dangerous tire and direct the driver off the road to take corrective action, preventing a possible safety hazard.

Outstanding Results

ATIS has been shown to have a better than 90% detection rate of bad brakes and flat tires.

Tennessee Highway Patrol has used our thermal inspection technology to improve their Out-Of-Service rate to 40-50%, much higher than the national average of 20%.

The New Mexico State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Bureau found the most significant impact of using ATIS was a more than 300% increase in Out-Of-Service violations issued at the site. Captain Labier of New Mexico stated “ATIS has increased our efficiency by assisting officers to focus their efforts on carriers requiring further investigation. By using this thermal inspection technology, we have replaced random inspections with qualified inspections, and we’re taking more dangerous commercial vehicles off the road.”

A Case Study on the ATIS Solution in New Mexico can be viewed here:


Why IIS?

No other organization in the world has deployed more thermal inspection systems for highway safety than IIS. We have the expertise and a track record that you can trust to deliver the most effective inspection systems available in the marketplace.

IIS also provides van-based thermal inspection systems for screening trucks at remote or temporary enforcement locations. These mobile units provide you with the ability to identify potential safety violations at sites where fixed stations are impractical or cost prohibitive.

In addition to our comprehensive ATIS solution, IIS offers a basic Automated Tire Pressure Screening (ATPS) solution. ATPS automatically screens commercial motor vehicles for low tire pressure without stopping vehicles on the road. ATPS can add value to smaller Commercial Vehicle Enforcement programs when combined with Weigh-In-Motion (WIM) technologies. If you’re interested in learning more about whether ATIS or ATPS is the best solution for you, you can call IIS for a demonstration today.


ATIS technology is recognized by AASHTO and is eligible for funding under USDOT safety programs.

For information on how ATIS can help improve safety and reduce crashes please contact us at https://intelligentimagingsystems.com/contact/

For more detailed information and a video on our Thermal Inspection System technology please see:



[1] Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Large Truck Crash Causation Study (July 2007)

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