A team of Iowa State University researchers is helping the Iowa Department of Transportation look for ways to get truckers big data that will help them avoid sitting in traffic and idling too much. Those delays cost the trucking industry billions of dollars a year.

Dave Cantor, an ISU associate professor of supply chain management, said the data can also help with safety issues. "The DOT has a lot of real-time data on the operating conditions of state highways and secondary roads, and it wants to make sure the data is of value to carriers," Cantor said in a statement. "With this data and information, we can improve on-time delivery performance, safe delivery of the freight and minimize idle time."

Researchers surveyed two dozen logistics and technology providers, motor carriers and haulers. Carriers said they would benefit from real-time data about road conditions, traffic speeds, congestion, accidents and construction.

While some of that information is available on phone apps, the thought is it would be safer to piggyback the data on a federally required system that records truck trips, ISU reported.

Neal "Skip" Foster, a former trucking company owner who is part of the research team, said by the end of the year, all carriers must comply with an electronic logging device mandate to record driving times. Foster would like to see navigation data passed through the same system.

Researchers said cutting down on slowdowns would help drivers who are paid by the mile.

Read the full news release.