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The heat sensors aren't sensitive enough to detect most human body heat, and will pick up people only if they are leaning against the inside of the truck.
The thermal eye van will eventually be used to determine if trucks are carrying radioactive equipment and to transmit license plate data to see if trucks are stolen, said Hopper.
The van's rate of correctly identifying vehicles that need to be taken off the road is 44 percent, said Hopper. That compares with a much lower out-of-compliance rate using random inspections alone.
And with physical inspections taking a half-hour or more, cutting down on unnecessary screenings saves truckers time.
"The key thing is freight mobility," said Hopper. "We have to keep the trucks moving."