Real-time rerouting of motor vehicles around traffic jams is on the horizon

Aug. 1, 2006
The Holy Grail of trucking is within sight if not yet within reach. According to Dr Alain Kornhauser, the elements we need to warn of traffic problems

The Holy Grail of trucking is within sight — if not yet within reach. According to Dr Alain Kornhauser, the elements we need to warn of traffic problems in real time and automatically reroute vehicles on the road are emerging.

A Princeton University professor, Kornhauser is founder and chairman of ALK Technologies. He made his comments at the second annual ALK Technology Summit in Princeton NJ recently. The objective of the summit was to join industry thought leaders in a unique environment to share expertise and experience applying technology solutions to emerging business challenges.

Kornhauser referred to the upcoming convergence of existing technologies such as Optimized ETA (estimated time of arrival). This concept aims to speed arrival times of vehicles in transit as well as estimate arrival times more accurately based on actual historical North American vehicle transit times.

The key to a breakthrough is merging data from Global Positioning Systems (GPS) with routing and mapping technology. ALK markets products under the brand name CoPilot that combine GPS technology with its own digital map data. This combination provides real-time, in-cab, voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions for all kinds of vehicles including heavy-duty trucks and vehicles hauling hazardous materials.

Such data, provided wirelessly, will enable CoPilot Truck or similar systems to quickly recalculate a route based on fresh, dynamic information. CoPilot is supported by the technology and map data from ALK's flagship PC*Miler software.

According to Kornhauser, the potential for dynamic Optimized ETA increases with the number of routing, GPS, and wireless devices in trucks and cars. The current stumbling block, he said, is that many individuals and companies will not allow their GPS data to be available to anyone else, even with their identities blocked.

Beyond that, however, Optimized ETA promises improved efficiency and profits for all fleet types and increased earnings for professional drivers, Kornhauser said.

To set up an interview with Kornhauser, phone Mary Kelly at 609-252-8160 or e-mail [email protected].

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