Plan. Drive. Analyze – What Is The ALK Platform?

What Is The ALK Platform?

Although every journey is unique, businesses still require predictability in terms of time and cost. Therefore companies need access to a planning, driving and analysis platform that provides flexibility and customisation for your business.

ALK’s platform is a location powered toolset for every part of the journey. We offer a flexible routing, mapping, mileage and navigation platform. It is rooted in rich commercial vehicle data and powered by our location engine at the core.

Who Will It Help?

Whether you are an end user, looking to enhance your mobility workflow solution or a partner, we can help.  Our functionality can be used individually, or as a complete set for the highest level of operational accuracy and consistency. We work across a broad range of industries including Post, Parcel and Courier, Oil and Gas, the Emergency Services and Utilities. The ALK platform consists of these three core components:

PlanThe first step of every journey is planning. With ALK’s platform, you will be able to build accurate, optimized and efficient routes:

  • Generate accurate mileage results and drive times through the last mile with address to address routing
  • Predictive routing based on real-time and historic traffic and weather conditions
  • Easily compare alternative route options by displaying the distance, drive times, and toll costs for each route in the same window
  • Set vehicle and route profiles to keep drivers and assets safe on legal roads
  • Input mandatory rest periods and SLA time windows into the route planning for accurate ETAs
  • Visualize the driver’s route



You have planned your optimal route? Time to follow it. Guide drivers with safe, efficient navigation:

  • Safe, accurate commercial vehicle routing
  • Intuitive, non-distracting clear 2D, 3D map guidance views
  • Fast, automatic route generation and re-calculation directly on the device
  • Advance road warnings of potential driver hazards
  • Offline navigation for constant access to reliable routing and maps in out of coverage areas

Tools: CoPilot Pro, CoPilot Truck

AnalyzeThe drive is over, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road. Improve your future routes by integrating post-trip visualization & reporting:

  • Monitor driver adherence to planned vs driven route to maximize operational efficiency 
  • Streamline management of in-cab navigation with web-based remote configuration tools
  • Create, manage and sync custom location content for precise routing
  • Analyze performance across the entire fleet or drill down to each driver
  • Continuously improve routing and ETAs for a better customer experience


How can we empower your business? Get in touch here >

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Beyond The Maps – A Look Into GIS

What Is GIS?

“A geographic information system (GIS) is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present spatial or geographic data.” (Source) Since ALK is a company that relies on quality map data, our GIS team is the backbone to our location engine and ALK’s platform. Our GIS team has been working on various projects ranging from updating route numbers, to truck attribution and conflation, which is a tool that was created in-house.

How Conflation Works

Conflation describes the merging of an outside data source with our ALK’s data. First, we look at our existing map data. Second, they find differences between our existing and new outside data sources. Third, the team determines ground truth and edits the map data accordingly. Our GIS team uses a variety of sources to conflate data and to create high quality map data for our customers.


The basic geometry & attributionis made up of data from different sources, including national, state, county postal and satellite data. Truck attribution has these same elements plus municipal, toll authorities and company lists for sites. In Europe, we work with HERE Maps to provide high-quality maps and commercial attributes.

Truck Attribution – A Unique Value Add-On

Getting lost in an unfamiliar area is probably one of the most inconvenient things to happen while travelling. But getting lost while driving a trailer or haul truck in an unfamiliar area could turn into a nightmare. When trucks get incorrectly routed, it can result in serious damage and dangerous situations. Not all navigation systems account for a vehicle’s size and weight. Appropriate map data and navigation specific to trucking are crucial for driver safety and your company’s budget. For example, bridge strikes that occur in the US and the UK can cause damage to the truck, goods being hauled, the infrastructure itself, and can potentially harm the truck driver or other road users. On top of any damages, these types of accidents can also result in huge fines for driving on a truck-restricted road.


For this reason, ALK places such importance on providing the correct truck attributes. ALK offers a unique value add-on with truck attributes such as: height (vertical clearances), weight, no through trucks (city/county/municipal truck routes), time of day, state and national network (53’, twin trailer, and/or 102” wide designated routes) and hazardous materials. Find out more about CoPilot Truck can help empower you and your business >

You Can Help

Our GIS team are busy at work to keep map data up-to-date and provide quality truck attribution data, but there is also a way you can help improve our maps to ensure they are as accurate as they can be. With our easy-to-use, online map reporting tool MapSure you can help enhance our maps more quickly. ALK MapSure is a free tool available to all ALK customers using PC*MILER, ALK Maps or any of our CoPilot solutions in North America. Find out more about ALK MapSure >

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5 Ways To Empower Your Fleet With CoPilot Truck


Being a fleet manager isn’t the easiest job in the world. Truck fleet managers in particular face challenges every day: Managing drivers and keeping them on track, scheduling and maintaining vehicles, an increase in budget scrutiny, being your company’s crisis manager and – the ultimate goal – making your customers happy. Technology can lend a helping hand in facing these challenges. How can CoPilot Truck help?

1) Optimal Routes

With CoPilot Truck, you receive commercial route planning and route optimisation that takes into account the vehicle’s dimensions, weight and load. Plus, see truck-restricted and prohibited roads to find the optimal route for any itinerary. Reduce the risk of costly bridge strikes and collisions and boost your route compliance.

2) Cost-effective

CoPilot Truck provides a comprehensive, cost-effective fleet solution to maximise fleet-wide productivity, lower costs and help fleets maintain true route compliance. Maximise revenue and your bottom line with overall reduced fuel and operating costs

3) In-Cab Navigation

Trouble keeping your drivers on track, happy and safe? Empower your drivers with highly accurate, safe truck-legal navigation. CoPilot Truck offers voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions with spoken street names from origin to destination. Reduce driver distraction in the cab with clear 3D and 2D map views plus Driver Safety Views for at-a-glance instructions. Find out more about CoPilot Truck’s in-cab navigation.

4) Post-trip analysis and integration with back-office tools

An efficient fleet management solution doesn’t start or stop in the truck cabin. Send routes to drivers and measure driver performance through post-trip analysis of the planned versus actual route with ALK’s back office and analysis tools. CoPilot Truck integrates with ALK’s PC*MILER and ALK Maps so say goodbye to running dozens of non-integrated systems. We’ve got you covered.

5) Precise, dynamic ETAs

Make your customers happy and provide on-time deliveries with precise, dynamic ETAs based on real-time road conditions.

To find out more, visit our brand new truck website here or speak with us directly by tapping on the green SPEAK WITH SOMEONE button on our truck website.


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ALK January Round-Up

How was your January? Were you huddled up inside or out and about? January is a time for new resolutions and planning. ALKers around the globe have been busy braving the winter storms to plan ahead and prepare for the new year. We know one thing for sure: 2018 won’t be boring! Here are a couple of highlights from the past month and a look ahead:

A New Addition To The Family

Good news for fleet managers, integrators and truck drivers across the pond. After successfully launching our new CoPilot Truck website in the US last year, the site is now also available in the UK. You’re in Germany or France? Stay tuned, there will be news for you soon…

We’ve Been Busy


So what has been going outside our offices? The ALK business development team introduced our PLAN. DRIVE. ANALYZE campaign and talked through our navigation solutions at BluJay’s SOAR2018 conference in London.

At the end of the month, the North America business team attended the NITL (National Industrial Transportation League) Transportation Summit in Dallas, Texas to show how ALK Technologies helps move your goods swiftly, safely, and timely

Looking Forward

In 2017, ALK hired 50 new employees! Seven more employees were hired in January which is a great start for 2018. We are looking forward to welcoming more to our team in the months ahead. Read more about our opening positions on our careers page.

Come Visit

You’re looking for a chance to meet one of us in person to discuss how ALK can help your business with innovative transportation solutions? Here are some events we will attend in the next couple of weeks:

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CoPilot Truck Has a New Home

We’re proud to announce the launch of – our brand new North American website completely dedicated to everything CoPilot Truck!




Here you’ll find how CoPilot Truck navigation works for fleets of all sizes, integration partners, and individual drivers.  Gain insight into our back-office enterprise fleet management tools, read up on commercial navigation best practices, and dive into our in-cab navigation features. Don’t forget to check out the resource library that includes training videos and in-depth feature sheets.


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Fuel Efficient Trucking 101

The Environmental Protection Agency reports that,

​”Twenty-seven percent of U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is from transportation. Transportation is the second leading source of GHG emissions in the United States, just behind electricity. Between 1990 and 2015, GHG emissions in the transportation sector increased more in absolute terms than any other sector.” Source

More specifically, medium and heavy-duty trucks contribute to 6.21% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the US. But since the trucking industry is a vital backbone of the US economy, how can we reduce emissions, whilst continuing to move the industry forward and save costs for trucking companies?

Emissions generated by the trucking industry are not just an environmental concern: fuel efficiency also saves hard-earned dollars. In an industry where profit margins are getting ever smaller, every diesel drop counts.

How Fuel Efficient Trucking Can Help Your Business

In the last few years, regulations regarding emissions in the trucking industry have become stricter. Additionally, diesel prices have been on the rise again in recent months and since fossil fuels are a finite resource, this is an additional long-term concern. Increased fuel efficiency, which reduces emissions, is not just a way to address environmental concerns, but also a way to save dollars. Besides, consumers are increasingly taking into account sustainability when making purchase decisions. Supply chain sustainability certificates such as SmartWay (EPA) can give companies an edge over their competitors.

USEPA SmartWay Logo

From Theory To Practice

Enough with the gray theory….how can we put increased fuel efficiency into practice? Big companies as diverse as Walmart and Tesla are looking at ways to make trucking more efficient. Several models of hybrid trucks and fully electric trucks are being tested or are already deployed on the streets. Additionally, the design of a truck can help reduce fuel consumption by using aerodynamic modelling. Another aspect is engine efficiency and using filters to reduce emissions.

However, not everyone can immediately afford to purchase the newest hybrid truck on the market. Fortunately, there are some practical tips in  getting more miles out of a full tank. First, removing additional weight from the truck helps reduce overall fuel costs. Second, maintaining a steady speed while driving, using cruise control and minimizing idling time, will help the trucker decrease fuel consumption. And finally, planning efficient routes with dedicated truck-specific GPS navigation will limit out-of-route mileage.

How Can CoPilot Truck Increase Your Fuel Efficiency?

CoPilot Truck allows you to plan trips that are optimized for your vehicle, your load, and the number of stops you need to make. Save money by reducing fuel usage with less time wasted on out-of-route miles. In addition, you can enter up to 100 stops and CoPilot Truck will calculate the most efficient route by organizing the stops into the most logical order.


ALK Road Closure Alert: Detroit-Windsor Tunnel

Closure will take place from October 20 at 8 p.m. until October 30 at 5:30 a.m. Click here for additional closure information.

The maps in the following ALK solutions have been automatically updated to reflect the road closure:

  • PC*MILER Web Services
  • ALK Maps
  • PC*MILER Web

PC*MILER desktop customers:
We suggest you use the “Avoid Roads” feature to bypass the road closure. For complete instructions on how to use the feature, please reference Chapter 12 of the PC*MILER User Guide.

The “Avoid Roads” feature can be found in the “Tools” tab.


On the map, the cursor will now appear with a minus or plus sign. Click on the road segment(s) to be avoided.


IMPORTANT: Your avoid/favor preferences will affect routing only when Routing Preferences > Custom Roads > Use Avoid/Favors is selected in the Route Options dialog or current route profile. This option is turned off by default.

Done! You’ll now be routed around the road closure.

When Getting On-site is Only Part of the Journey

In these days of GPS, navigating public highways is a straightforward process. Load up your itinerary, optimize your route and off you go. But what if your stop off point doesn’t seem to exist? This could be due to private roads.

International airports, oil fields, large scale building projects and military bases will often have an extensive private road network not featured in standard GPS mapping applications. And all of them will have frequent requirements for pickups and deliveries.

While local drivers may know the site location drop off points, it can become a headache when the route is being driven for the first time or by a new driver. CoPilot navigation can help to ease this issue by recording the exact location for future use. CoPilot uses Latitude and Longitude coordinates for precise location recall, so that any driver can find the location at a future point.

Recording the exact location can also prove useful on public roads when a delivery location may not necessarily be at the front of the destination point. A loading bay at the back of a department store for example. Why not improve your drive with saving exact location points?

How to save an exact location in CoPilot:

From the main menu, select ‘Plan Trip’ then ‘Current Location’. Then provide a name for the location so that it can be selected as a destination for future use.

How to Avoid Bridge Strikes?

You’ve seen the videos.  A 53 foot trailer hitting a low bridge.  You think, “Why was that driver even routed there in the first place?” The likely answer – they were following a generic, non-truck specific navigation system, designed for use by drivers of smaller, lighter passenger vehicles. The result? Costly damages to the truck and any goods being hauled, potential harm to the driver and countless other drivers on the road, and fines for driving on a truck-restricted road.

Bridge strikes are a problem across the country
Red = major problem. Green = minor problem. Yellow = no response

In the US, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported a staggering number of 4,209 bridge strikes in 2014. In the UK  there were 1708 bridge strikes in 2013/2014. According to Network Rail, this is a 9.9% increase compared to the previous year.

Bridge strikes are a safety risk to drivers, pedestrians and train passengers and staff alike. Since critical strikes cause rail and road traffic delays as well as repair costs for vehicles and infrastructure, they are expensive for truck owners, fleets and rail operators. Here are some tips on how to avoid bridge strikes:

Know your vehicle dimensions


If you’re a fleet manager , make sure that your drivers know their vehicle height and width by heart. Please note that the truck’s weight can vary slightly according to what type of load you are hauling.  By adhering to routes tailored to the load and trailer specifications, you can avoid fines and low bridges.

Plan a truck-safe route


A truck driver can use CoPilot Truck to plan a route that is safe and compliant on truck-legal roads. First, enter the vehicle dimensions in the app. Second, plan the trip. CoPilot will calculate the best route available for the vehicle. Don’t forget to use a GPS that is built for truck drivers and not for cars and takes into account your truck’s size. When your daily life exists on the road as a truck driver, your decisions are impacted by safety, compliance and cost savings. If you are a fleet manager, you want to make sure the driver and delivery gets from A to B without interference. If you think truck specific navigation isn’t for you – guess again. It pays to have truck specific navigation.

Check traffic signs


Last but not least, make sure you always check for traffic signs and other warnings when you approach a bridge.

Practice guides for truck drivers to avoid bridge strikes

For the UK:

For the US:

Safe, Safer, Safest – Innovations in Truck Safety

In the last few years, the trucking industry has undergone some serious changes: From the emergence of electric trucks (see Mercedes, Tesla) to the digitalization of the back office and truck cabin. But what about innovations when it comes to safety?

In the US, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported a staggering number of 4,209 bridge strikes in 2014. In the UK, there were 1708 bridge strikes in 2013/2014. According to Network Rail, this is a 9.9% increase compared to the previous year. When it comes to road accidents involving trucks, the numbers aren’t much better. A 2013 study in the UK reported that,

“More than half of fatal accidents on motorways involve HGVs, despite HGVs only making up 10% of the traffic on motorways” (Source)

The FMCSA’s (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) statistic shows that,

“There were 11.2 fatal large truck crashes per million people in the United States in 2015, a 6-percent increase from 2010” (Source)

Needless to say, truck safety is a vital issue for truckers, fleets and road users in general. So, what are some of the innovations that can help improve road safety?

I Spy With My Little Eye

One of the biggest safety concerns for truck drivers are blind spots. The most obvious help for a driver’s visibility are the good old mirrors. For increased safety, truck owners should install the full set of mirrors including front projection mirror, side close proximity mirror, wide angle rear view mirror and of course the plain rear view mirror. Additionally, you can use blind spot detection systems. Ultrasonic sensors can detect obstacles in the rear, front corner or side of the vehicle and warn with an alarm. Plus, there are side view and 360 degree cameras that provide the driver with visibility when reversing or performing a difficult turn. Some manufacturers have gone a step further and trialled a rear screen that helps car drivers overtake trucks. Samsung has shown how technology can help all road users:

Driver Controls

What are some of the safety systems the big truck manufacturers have been integrating into their vehicles? Thanks to advanced camera, GPS, radar and sensor technology, truckers and fleet managers can take advantage of a variety of systems to help the driver and haulage arrive safely.

Cruise control anticipates the road and vehicle traffic ahead; Lane departure warnings alert the driver if there is an unintended lane change; Vehicle stability systems help keep the truck in balance in case of a sharp turn; Advanced braking warns the driver if there is an obstacle ahead and will brake if the limit is exceeded.

Do You Know Where You’re Going?

We’ve come a long way since paper maps. Since the emergence of PCs in the 90s and mobile devices on the 00s, fleet management and trucking has changed significantly. The humble paper map has been replaced by mobile devices that not only show you a map but give the driver instructions, warnings and optimized routes.

Mobile truck-specific navigation apps have been available for many years now, but some drivers still use GPS navigation that is not suitable for larger vehicles. The danger? Directions from a car GPS will route heavy-duty drivers down narrow roads or bridges that are truck-restricted. The best case is a hefty fine, the worst case an accident with vehicle damage or even injury. So make sure your drivers/you are using navigation and routing suitable for commercial vehicles.

Drive safely 🙂