The daily drive for truckers is much different than that of your average commuter hustling to work. Truck drivers and their managers face a complex route full of additional regulations and situations that must be understood — or they could find themselves in serious trouble.
That’s why digital map data for truck routing software have to be created with a significant attention to detail and with everything truckers need to make the haul safely and without incident. What does that entail?
Top Concerns Truckers Have on the Road
Truck drivers have many unique concerns that digital mapping and routing software must address. To name a few:
- Areas with lower speed limits for trucks than for other vehicles
- Height and weight restrictions
- Weigh station locations
- Rest stop locations
- Lane restrictions
- Time restrictions (e.g., “No semi traffic after 9 p.m.”)
- Work and sleep schedule limitations for long hauls
- Road characteristics (e.g., tunnels, narrow passages)
- Toll locations and costs
- Roadblocks or other hazards
If truck drivers aren’t aware of restrictions on their routes, they could face penalties. Worse, if they don’t know a low overpass is on the horizon, they could be heading straight for an avoidable accident that could create massive damage or potentially cause serious harm to the driver or others in the area.
That’s why it’s crucial for digital mapping data and truck routing software to understand and acknowledge these additional challenges and develop products and services that keep truckers alerted and well-informed. Data for every bullet point above (and more) must be accounted for.
Roadblocks to Implementing Digital Maps for Trucks
Accuracy and timeliness of the data are the key issues faced when developing mapping software truckers need. Every highway, every city street, every road-less-traveled must have its information noted and fed into the system.
Speed limits in particular are a common concern. If a trucker travels down a road with a lower truck speed limit and that information wasn’t presented in their navigation system, they won’t know about it and could be pulled over and issued a traffic citation or face penalties from their employer.
Even if there isn’t a separate speed limit for trucks, that itself is valuable information for drivers. If conditions ahead are the same for everyone, a driver can have added peace of mind if they’re told that there’s just one speed limit or that the overpass a few miles ahead is a standard height. Silencing any mental alarm bells ahead of time goes a long way.
Timeliness refers to the importance of real-time information and adjustments. If there are literal roadblocks ahead, such as an accident, truckers need to know.
But truck routing software needs to go a step further than most commercially available maps or navigators. It’s not as easy for an 18-wheeler to quickly hop off the interstate and reroute as it is for the average car. That’s why the timeliness is so important; updates and data must be as close to instant as possible.
Reliable digital mapping software for trucks will have ways to make this happen.
How HERE Addresses the Needs of Truck Drivers
Reputable companies like HERE have the bandwidth and capabilities to provide accurate and timely information for truckers, as well as the entire trucking company itself.
Take a look at what HERE has available for the trucking industry.
- HERE Routing API provides route calculations between two or more locations
- HERE Isoline Routing API gathers the possible destinations that can be reached in a set amount of time, as well as the maximum travel distance
- HERE Matrix Routing API calculates routing matrices, travel times and travel distances for as many as 10,000 origins and destinations
- HERE Waypoints Sequence API indicates the optimal order of destination points to maximize the efficiency of the route
HERE Route Matching
- HERE Route Matching API offers analytical capabilities by matching the truck’s GPS traces to the route they took to check for incidents or anomalies
HERE Map Attributes
- HERE Map Attributes API provides core map details — including speed limit data — in a convenient, layered format
- HERE POI Maps can be used to locate points of interest in a certain area, including rest stops
What We Could See in the Future
Given where we’re headed with electric vehicles and autonomous driving, eventually more data points will be needed in all digital mapping platforms and software.
Think of an electric vehicle, which uses a battery for power. Truck drivers in particular will need to see the topography of their routes to know where they’ll encounter hilly areas that require greater battery usage. And when it’s time for a recharge, they’ll need a reliable map displaying charging locations as well.
As for autonomous vehicles, accuracy will be even more critical, since the human element is taken out of the equation on certain decisions. An autonomous delivery truck could drive itself right into a river if the map data is incorrect or out of date.
What Sets HERE Apart?
We’ve touched on some of the most ideal HERE offerings for truck drivers, but what makes HERE the right choice in the first place? Click the link below to access a copy of our fact sheet that covers important information about HERE APIs.