How to avoid steep hills

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The Ordnance Survey has released new “steep road” information for satnav providers to route lorry drivers more appropriately. The mapping agency, which provides road network data to the satnav industry, said it hoped the information would be used to help route truckers on the most appropriate and fuel-efficient roads.

“Knowing where roads climb and fall sharply is vital for safe and efficient route planning,” said Tom Satterthwaite, senior product manager for transport at Ordnance Survey. “Hauliers prefer gentle slopes so a lorry can maintain a constant speed. This not only saves fuel but is also safer for the driver. If a satnav system knows where steep roads are, the driver can be routed to avoid them. The potential for fuel cost savings are significant.”

There has been a barrage of criticism of satnav systems routeing lorries on unsuitable roads. Ordnance Survey said the steep hill data complemented the existing information on road weight, width and height limits that it first published in 2006. “An HGV specific satnav relying on both sets of data would not only be able to route efficiently but could also avoid sending drivers down unsuitable roads.”

Ordnance Survey said it hoped that the addition of steep gradient data will further encourage satnav manufacturers, which have so far focused primarily on the car market, to release products to specifically support HGV drivers.

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