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About Us

Conceived in 1983, Heavy Vehicle Electronic License Plate (HELP) pioneered the nation’s foremost intelligent vehicle-highway system (IVHS) initiative for commercial vehicle operators (CVO). The HELP program evolved through several phases including concept exploration, feasibility, project development and technical study.

The Crescent Project, the final phase of the HELP program, was intended to demonstrate the integrated technologies that today form the basis of PrePass: Automated Vehicle Identification (AVI), Automated Vehicle Classification (AVC) and Weigh-In-Motion (WIM).

With federal financial support from the U.S. Department of Transportation, HELP’s Crescent Project formally began in 1991 and involved six U.S. western states and one Canadian province which formed a geographic “crescent” from the Pacific Northwest to Texas. 

Following the successful completion of the Crescent Project, state partners were eager to deploy the technology.  However, at the time, federal funds were not available for deployment, leaving interested state parties without a means of utilizing the proven concepts.

As a result, HELP established a public-private partnership to raise funds to make the new technology available commercially.  HELP, Inc. exists today as a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit partnership governed by a Board of Directors that is comprised of an equal number of state official and motor carrier directors.

The culmination of HELP, Inc’s efforts is PrePass – an intelligent transportation system that electronically verifies safety, credentials, and weight of commercial vehicles at participating state highway weigh stations, commercial vehicle inspection facilities and ports of entry. Installation of the basic PrePass equipment at many state inspection facilities is funded by HELP, Inc. and provided to states without the use of public funds.  Motor carriers who voluntarily participate fund the system with monthly service charges.

HELP Inc. continues to explore new lines of service – such as PrePass Plus, PrePass Gates, and PrePass AG – that satisfy their mission to deploy intelligent transportation systems that benefit the public, government, and motor carrier industry.

   Industry Savings

Calendar
Year
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Successful Electronic
Screening Bypasses
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Time Savings1
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Fuel Savings2
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Operational Cost
Savings3
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Emissions Reductions4
1997
383,962
31,997
153,585
$1,919,810
339
1998
2,473,237
206,103
989,295
$12,366,185
2,184
1999
5,415,606
451,301
2,166,242
$27,078,030
4,782
2000
9,376,621
781,385
3,750,648
$46,883,105
8,279
2001
14,405,169
1,200,431
5,762,068
$72,025,845
12,719
2002
20,610,794
1,717,566
8,244,318
$103,053,970
18,199
2003
26,639,069
2,219,922
10,655,628
$133,195,345
23,522
2004
35,711,954
2,975,996
14,284,782
$178,559,770
31,533
2005
45,120,415
3,760,035
18,048,166
$225,602,075
39,840
2006
51,124,786
4,260,399
20,449,914
$255,623,930
45,142
2007
56,054,151
4,671,179
22,421,660
$280,270,755
49,495
2008
56,018,918
4,668,243
22,407,567
$486,244,208
49,464
2009
53,107,019
4,425,585
21,242,808
$460,968,925
46,893
2010
51,329,050
4,277,421
20,531,620
$445,536,154
45,323
2011
49,986,754
4,165,563
19,994,702
$433,885,025
44,137
2012
50,809,325
4,234,110
20,323,730
$441,024,941
44,864
2013 (August)
33,368,732
2,780,728
13,347,493
$289,640,594
29,464
Total Since Inception
561,935,562
46,827,964
224,774,226
$3,893,878,667
488,635
Households5
26,358
Automobiles6
88,498

1Based on 5 Minutes Saved per Screening Bypass (measured in hours)

2Based on .4 gallons per pull-in (measured in gallons)

3Based on $5 per pull-in [1997-2007] (Iowa State University Center for Transportation Research and Education study performed in 1995) or $8.68 per pull-in [2008+] (FMCSA Economic Analysis and Business Case for Motor Carrier Industry Support of CVISN - Oct 2007)

4Measured in Metric Tons

5US EPA cites an average annual US household emissions output of 41,500 lbs. (18.8 Metric Tons) per http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/ind_calculator.html

6US EPA cites an average annual passenger automobile CO2 emissions output of 5.5 Metric Tons per http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html