Many logistics companies worldwide are turning to road trains: trucks with two, or even three, trailers attached. Driving one of those might sound like a difficult job, but the truth is that it’s really difficult. Maneuvering three trailers on its own is a highly skilled task. And that’s not to mention different height and weight restrictions, traffic signs and truck permits for every different state they drive in.
Making an incorrect decision with one of these beasts, due to poor information, can easily lead to severe consequences.
“Getting a B-triple [a truck with three trailers] stuck under a bridge shuts down the road for at least a day or two,” says Brent Stafford, who heads sales for HERE in Australia.
Stafford works with a team of more than 60 HERE mapping professionals in Australia and New Zealand who are transforming trucking maps from 2D points and nodes on a navigation device to a highly accurate HD map that scans the urban environment down to centimeter-level precision. The HD map gives fleet operators the information they need, when they need it, to design efficient transport routes, reducing personnel and fuel costs, while boosting safety and reliability.
HERE has created a unique mapping layer for the Australian fleet industry that defines exactly where it’s safe to drive B-Doubles and B-Triples. The HD map warns truckers of obstacles such as low bridges or weight limits. It notifies drivers of upcoming steep hills or sharp turns, and re-routes trucks carrying hazardous materials away from restricted areas such as tunnels.
‘Truck Loading Docks’ identify the delivery entrances and delivery roads for all the major shopping centres. Meanwhile, national truck stops, weight stations, rest areas and fuel stations are marked on the map for long-haul truck drivers. HERE even tells truckers which fuel stops have quick stop restaurants or showers.
Triple truck tech
“The advanced truck features that we have today are quite unique,” Stafford says. “Our customers are using us at the very cutting edge of their businesses.”
HERE’s predictive traffic data and analytics help companies ascertain the most optimized route to get packages to the ports on time. Being extremely punctual is a necessity in larger cities, such as Sydney, Australia, where global logistic companies give deliveries a three-minute window to reach their docks. Not only does HERE have the docks mapped, but they can help fleet owners schedule the deliveries.
David Sanders, Managing Director of Bestrane, which sells, implements and supports sophisticated vehicle routing, execution and timeslotting technologies in the Australia and New Zealand region, understands the importance of maps having relevant, accurate truck attributes.
“Base maps show us where roads connect. HERE data now also tells us how they connect, which considerably improves the quality of optimisation,” Sanders says.
HERE's HD map, which uses high precision GPS, cameras, inertial measurement units (IMU) and LiDAR to capture a 360° view of the world, collects not only speed limits, the number of lanes and lane markings, but also attributes such as the curvature and slope of the road. In the next few years, Sanders sees increased applications for HERE data.
“For example, when carting bulk liquids, it is important to understand road gradients so that wherever possible vehicles drive up a hill empty, and come down a hill full to minimise fuel and maintenance costs," he concludes.