Europe News: FTA calls for better sat nav systems for truckers

Europe News:  FTA calls for better sat nav systems for truckers

The Freight Transport Association is asking suppliers to produce satellite navigation systems that are more compatible with freight operations.

Mapping software customarily supplied with sat nav units assumes the vehicle being driven is able to navigate the selected route legally, safely and without inconveniencing the local community and other road users.

While this is probably a safe assumption for cars and light vans, often the selected routes prove to be unsuitable for heavy vehicles, and there have been a number of cases of lorries being guided to inappropriate locations, leaving them unable to go forward or turn around.

The FTA is inviting the mapping and telematics industry to remedy this situation before any more goodwill is lost to the public or the government decides to take action because of misdirected vehicles.

The FTA has identified a list of data items that its members say are necessary and useful additions to a standard sat nav system. These include

  • Restrictions on vehicle dimensions
  • Restrictions on kerbside loading and unloading
  • Time of day restrictions
  • HGV restrictions
  • Recommended lorry routes
  • Ability to specify trunk roads or motorways
  • Adequate predictability of possible access problems in time to allow diversionary action by drivers
  • Location of lorry parks and driver facilities
  • Location of public weighbridges

FTA’s policy director, James Hookham, said that suppliers can do a lot more to make their systems more useful to commercial vehicle drivers.

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