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.

Operation Safe Driving Week – What YOU can do to help

Today kicks off Operation Safe Driving Week in North America and we have compiled a few tips on how you can do your part improving road safety!

 

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, or CVSA, started Operation Safe Driver Week in 2014. Since it has started, the number of vehicles law enforcement have pulled over has gone down, speeding has decreased by 6.3% and this all results in less accidents on the road [source].

 

However, there is still one big piece that the CVSA wants to highlight to all driver’s that would help decrease the amount of accidents on the road for both commercial and passenger vehicles.

 

The single largest factor of traffic crashes are due to distracted driving. The CVSA shared that driver behavior is the critical reason for more than 88% of large truck crashes and 93% of private passenger-vehicle crashes. The main focus of Safe Driving Week is to educate all drivers on ways to improve road safety and that starts with managing or eliminating distractions while on the road.

 

So, how can you help?

Help defeat distracted driving and improve not only your safety on the road but also the other driver’s around you.

Here are some tips:

  • Adjust mirrors and lighting before entering the traffic flow. Maybe even before leaving your driveway.
  • Program directions into the GPS before putting your vehicle into gear.
  • Eat a healthy meal before you get on the road to avoid eating while driving.
  • Turn your cell phone off or put it on silent so it does not distract you while driving (Texting while driving had 23 times more the risk of being involved in an accident )

 

While we are only recognizing it this week, we hope that everyone practices every time you get on the road.

Blue Dot and ALK Technologies Partner to Deliver Driver Workflow Innovation

Unified mobile app brings a revolutionized driver experience

Denver, Colorado – October 11, 2017 – Blue Dot and ALK Technologies® have joined forces to deliver a new innovative driver workflow solution that enables fleets to improve the driver experience, reduce driver turnover and enforce fleet-wide driver standard operating procedures.

Distinctly Different Driver Centric Mobile App

Blue Dot’s MilesAhead™ DRIVE app uses the powerful ALK® Maps mapping platform as its foundation for commercial vehicle route and map visualization. MilesAhead overlays a LEAN Six Sigma-optimized driver circle-of-service workflow that manages the wide range of driver job tasks that occur both inside and outside the cab for planned and unplanned stops alike. Implementing a comprehensive driver-centric mobile app that is distinctively different from the “grid-of-apps” design approach that is so commonplace in the market today will positively impact drivers’ lives on the road both professionally and personally, said Mick Milnark, co-founder of Blue Dot.

Seamless Tablet Application

Leveraging ALK’s suite of integration tools, Blue Dot has embedded the CoPilot Truck application directly into its MilesAhead Drive unified application for seamless access to voice-guided navigation and industry standard routing. Blue Dot is the first ALK partner to incorporate the ALK Maps platform with real-time traffic display, street-level satellite view and weather and radar overlays into a tablet application.

Capitalizing on Shared Technologies

“Teaming with an innovative company like Blue Dot accelerates our shared strategy to capitalize on and bring to market our unique and compelling technologies,” said Dan Popkin, senior vice president, enterprise solutions, ALK Technologies.  “We’re thrilled that our first project together involves delivering an unprecedented solution that combines advanced driver workflow concepts with deeply integrated routing and mapping capabilities.”

See it today: Watch the Video.

For more information: Join Blue Dot & ALK for a webinar on the Driver Experience Revolutionized:

http://www.bluedotsolutions.com/trucking-technology-carriers/.

Press Contact: Gary Blohm Cell 303 359-9960

gblohm@bluedotsolutions.com

About Blue Dot

Blue Dot is a global enterprise mobile software, products and services company that delivers innovative mobile technology and solutions along with an IoT platform strategy to fleet transportation organizations. At the core, Blue Dot helps fleet transportation organizations move on from their costly technical debt, so they can both survive and evolve in the changing industry competitive landscape. Visit: www.bluedotsolutions.com.

About ALK

ALK Technologies is a transportation technology company dedicated to defining the optimal route to success through innovative routing, mileage, mapping and mobile navigation solutions. From trusted industry standard data to seamless integration, ALK solutions are developed for a broad range of industries, workforces, and everyday drivers on the road. For over 35 years, its suite of powerful solutions, including PC*MILER, CoPilot, and ALK Maps, have set the foundation for safe and efficient journeys worldwide – one mile, one driver, one vehicle at a time. ALK is a Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) Company and part of its international Transportation and Logistics Division, visit: www.alk.com.

Haul without Hassle: The Need for Hazmat & Energy Specific Routing, Mapping and Navigation

In the trucking industry, there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to route planning and daily operations. Roads have varying height, weight and load restrictions, and delivery locations can be complicated with non-addressed roads and some stop locations not even on the map!

 

And that’s just the beginning for those hauling hazardous material or oil and gas. There are compliance issues with numerous state and federal regulations and fear of hefty fines, as well as driver, public and environmental safety issues.

 

The U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration regulates the transport of hazardous materials and has recently increased penalties for violations. As of June 2015, fines for violations associated with the transport of hazmat are up to $75,000, an increase of $25,000 prior to that date1.

 

Can you afford the risk?  Utilize routing, mileage, mapping, and navigation software that incorporates road restrictions and planning tools to keep precious cargo safe.

 

Still unsure routing with specific parameters matters?  See the difference! The orange line depicts a route that was planned without hazmat parameters, taking you directly through Baltimore, MD. However, look at all of the red roads throughout the city – those are hazmat restricted roads – and you’re traveling on them.

 

The blue line is a route planned using hazmat parameters, based on the type of load you are hauling. It intelligently takes you around the entire city, keeping your load, driver, and the public, safe.

Is your business operating in the patch? You’re probably working in remote areas, under extreme conditions, with very specific location needs. You have multi stop routing planning and need efficient ways to get from place to place, or well to well.

 

Mapping with industry-critical data is a necessity for effective operations. Using the street-level satellite view on a map can help identify, locate, and geocode well heads. Store the exact coordinates and save these custom places for quick, easy routing. Here’s a sample of a patch with numerous well heads on a satellite map2:

For even more precise planning, set custom road speeds on rural roads. The terrain can be rough, causing the need for slower truck speeds. By factoring the set truck speeds, you’ll generate true travel times and ETAs.

Now that the plans are in place, get your drivers and vehicles on the road!

 

Rest easy that the compliant route planned is the route driven, by incorporating navigation that uses the same routing algorithm and data.  Drivers can set their routing profiles to match their specific hauling dimensions, so they can focus on the road ahead and not worry about going off route.  Eliminate distracted driving with turn-by-turn, voice-guided directions, and accurately navigate even in the most remote areas with maps stored directly on the device.

 

Learn more about how ALK’s routing, mileage, mapping and navigation solutions for Hamzat and Energy industries at www.alk.com/solutions.

 

Additional licensing applies.

 

1 http://www.truckinginfo.com/channel/safety-compliance/article/story/2015/06/price-tag-for-violating-regulations-just-went-up.aspx

2 At ALK Technologies, data coverage across the U.S. and Canada is available through a partnership with GEOTrac Systems, Inc, a leading provider of wireless fleet management and worker safety solutions for the oil and gas industry.

Digital Revolution – A World of Connected Trucks

What is digitalization and how is it affecting the trucking industry?

 

The digitalization of the trucking industry, and on a broader level, of the automotive industry, is a hot topic at the moment.

The definition of digitalization is the integration of digital technologies into everyday life by the digitization of everything that can be digitized (cf definition).

With the advent of digital technology and connected objects, the automotive industry has seen some fundamental changes in the course of a few decades.

Today’s vehicles are now closer to computers on wheels than ever before. They communicate with us and with each other, they gather all sorts of data about us and their environment and even more than that: they will soon be able to operate completely autonomously.

 

 

But it is not only about autonomous vehicles…

 

Testing of autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles by big automotive and tech companies has already started to raise concerns within the industry. But digitalization is not just that. It involves all the back and forth conversation between the fleets on the road and the back office, and alerting them about anything happening during the journey and react in real time.

Consequently, one may wonder if we are heading towards a world in which trucks will constantly communicate with each other and analyze location, vehicle status, road hazards, etc on their own.

But besides all the technological advances brought up by digitalization, many concerns are being raised regarding the security of the vehicles.
In this regard, the blockchain technology might well be key to the next big revolution within the trucking industry.

 

The Blockchain Industry – What is it?

 

According to www.trucks.com, “Blockchain [is] a technology that stores incorruptible blocks of information across a shared digital network [and] could revolutionize the future of trucking and logistics by creating a new system of completing transactions, tracking shipments and managing fleets.”

To put it into the current context, blockchain is the underlying technology that supports the controversial digital currency called “Bitcoin”.

 

Thanks to this new technology, truck drivers would be able to use sensors to track data in real time such as the temperature inside vehicles conveying food or the weight of their loads.

For customers, this would mean a better tracking of routes and ETAs and the possibility to retrace the trucks’ itinerary very precisely and quickly..
All in all, it implies a total transparency along the entire supply chain.

 

In order to start implementing this new technology, a coalition of players of the transport and logistic industry have united to create the Blockchain in Trucking Alliance (https://bita.studio/).

But according to Kenneth Craig, vice president of McLeod Software and member of the alliance, also known as BiTA, “the concept of deploying blockchain in trucking systems is only in its infancy”.

 

Consequently, we still have time before the blockchain or any other technology takes over the trucking industry, but the shift has already started and significant changes are to come in the coming years.

 

Learn more about the topic:

The Blockchain in Trucking Alliance: https://bita.studio/

Blockchain technology & the trucking industry:

https://www.trucks.com/2017/09/21/blockchain-technology-transform-trucking/

https://www.trucks.com/2017/09/21/blockchain-trucking-alliance-plans-future-logistics/?utm_source=site&utm_medium=internal

New technologies & IoT in the trucking sector: https://inc42.com/resources/technology-iot-trucking-logistics/

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.

Run the River Charity Event

 

On Tuesday 12th September, a team from our London office took part in the 5K Run the River fundraising event for Teach First. Teach First is a charity that fights against educational inequality. The organisation works closely with schools, universities, charities, businesses and individuals to give all children a chance to receive a quality education.

Congrats to David, Federico, Matt, Giovanni and Justin for taking part in the event!

Find out more about Teach First → https://www.teachfirst.org.uk/

 

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

bridge-strikeswww.rita.dot.gov
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

capture

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

photo-12-10-2015-11-58-51

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

custom-feet-sign-k-3842818-3

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: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/28626/bridgestrikesprofdrivers.pdf

For the US:
gps-selection-cmv

Autonomous Trucking and Driverless Fleets

 

 Self-driving vehicles are on their way

When we talk about autonomous driving, the first thing that comes to mind are driverless cars and the advantages/safety/moral challenges that surround them. Some of us imagine a future in which we will all work, eat, sleep in our new cars while they drive us to our destination. Others are concerned about the safety of driverless vehicles.

 

Big companies are investing more and more in R & D

But self-driving trucks are also part of the equation, and the effort put into the automation of delivery vehicles is as important as for cars. Companies like Uber, Google and Tesla are investing millions in self-driving technologies to build trucks that could drive for longer shifts, whilst allowing the drivers to rest during the drive and reduce the number of truck-related accidents.

 

 

 

The challenges for navigation providers

As far as navigation is concerned, the development of autonomous or semi-autonomous trucks represents a challenge as well as an opportunity.

A crucial point for our industry is that GPS data (exact location, timing, etc) will have to be even more accurate to cover for the lack of driver in case of a detour or problem on the roads. Any geolocation problem could result in damages and an immediate danger for the the passengers and anyone in the vicinity of the vehicle.

Digital maps showing every road sign, traffic light, temporary road works, etc, need to be part of the solution.

According to Amnon Shashua, chief technology officer at Mobileye, “If we want to have autonomous cars everywhere, we have to have digital maps everywhere.”

→ Read full article here


Today’s navigation solutions will have to adapt

The loss of the driver – whether it is total or partial – means that in-cab navigation solutions as we know them today might not be needed anymore.

Instead, new technologies enabling a better synchronisation between the “smart” truck and the back-office might gain a much bigger importance.

Vehicles are already getting geared up with connected features that enable a safer and effortless journey.

But technological advances happen so fast that it is hard to predict exactly where this field will be in the next few months or years.

 

 

So, what’s next?

Even though self-driving vehicles are a trendy topic at the moment and despite all the test implemented by big companies, we still have a few years before entire fleets hit our road.

Besides, as Alain Kornhauser, founder of the ALK Technologies Inc , pointed out in this article, self-driving does not necessarily mean driverless. And it is very likely that the first generations of autonomous trucks will still require the presence of a driver in case something goes wrong during the journey.

 

More articles on this topic:

New ‘TruETA’ Tool From TMW Systems Enables Fleets to Solve Planning and Execution Challenges

Solution for Innovative IES, TMWSuite, TMW.Suite and TruckMate Users Calculates ETA for Each Stop Based on Vehicle Location, Hours of Service, and Real-Time and Predictive Traffic

NASHVILLE – August 14, 2017 — TMW Systems today introduced TruETA™, a powerful new trip planning and execution tool that calculates estimated time of arrival for each stop along a commercial truck’s route. The company demonstrated the new solution during the 2017 PeopleNet and TMW in.sight User Conference + Expo in Nashville.

Available to users of TMW’s Innovative IES, TMW.Suite, TMWSuite and TruckMate transportation management solutions, TruETA is a cloud-based solution that automates the calculation of ETAs based on current vehicle position, PeopleNet® driver Hours of Service and real-time and predictive traffic patterns. The solution also generates Red-Yellow-Green alerts indicating the likelihood of each vehicle to meet its customers’ scheduled delivery times, reducing the need for dispatcher-driver phone calls and mobile communications messages.

“Hitting the customer’s delivery window is no longer an aspirational goal for carriers – it is imperative from a customer service score and financial standpoint,” said Ray West, senior vice president and general manager, TMS solutions for TMW. “TruETA helps eliminate much of the guesswork and manual data that comes with the trip planning process, and helps fleets reduce the risk of a dissatisfied customer.”

Commercial and private fleets can use TruETA to help reduce operating costs while improving on-time delivery performance, according to West. The tool replaces the “local knowledge” and manual data entry with automated, fact-based calculations derived from current vehicle location, updated Hours of Service information, and the PC*MILER® industry-standard commercial truck routing engine from ALK Technologies, which includes real-time and predictive traffic speeds along each assigned route. In addition, TruETA utilizes the ALK® Maps commercial mapping platform to visualize live traffic flows, as well as weather overlays of current conditions including radar, cloud cover, alerts and road surface conditions to quickly identify potential scheduling issues.

TruETA also accounts for required driver rest breaks and calculates remaining Hours of Service at each destination with PC*MILER’s Hours of Service planning engine to support accurate, advanced plans.

To learn more about TruETA and other transportation and logistics solutions from TMW Systems, contact your TMW representative or call (800) 401-6682.