The industry should not “over-complicate” solutions to stop satellite navigation systems directing lorries down inappropriate roads, according to the Freight Transport Association.
Instead, responding to the Department for Transport’s report on in-vehicle information systems, it has suggested that standard units should be installed with a commercial vehicle option, which has a greater bias towards motorways and major roads.
James Firth, roads policy manager at the FTA, said: “While the ultimate goal might be a complete directory of all height, weight and width restrictions, the time it will take to develop a system which can be quickly, accurately and, most importantly, reliably updated means that such a solution is a long way off yet.
“The technology to alter a route’s bias in favour of major roads and against minor roads already exists in some computer-based route planning software, and solves some of the high profile routeing problems such as Barrow Gurney in Somerset and Miller’s Dale in Derbyshire, which was the subject of a debate in the House of Commons. But sat-nav manufacturers seem slow to pick this up in in-vehicle units.”
* Elsewhere, GPS software developer Navevo has unveiled ProNav GPS, a sat-nav solution for drivers of heavy goods vehicles and vans, which it thinks will help remedy the problem.
The device works out routes based on a vehicle’s dimensions, the goods it is carrying and any legal restrictions, and is programmed to warn drivers of hazards such as steep hills of high cross winds.
In addition, ProNav has a database of red route and standard loading bays for delivery drivers in London, providing exception times and maximum loading period data, as well as offering drivers information on petrol stations and London cafes.
Navevo is currently developing a European and US version of the software and has plans to extend it so it is compatible with commercial fleet mobile market solutions.