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Trimble MAPS develops early warning system for traffic slowdowns

April 30, 2020
To give truck drivers more warning of impending slowdowns, Trimble Maps partnered with experts to develop an in-cab audible and visual alert system that detects traffic backups, such as in work zones or due to accidents.

In 2017, trucks were involved in 18,000 work zone crashes— or 19% of the total count—resulting in 4,000 injuries and 270 fatalities, according to the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse. One reason is the distance a fully loaded Class 8 truck requires to decelerate from highway speeds of around 65 mph on the highway to a full stop, which is about 525 feet. A passenger vehicle can safely stop in less than 300 feet.

To give truck drivers more warning of impending slowdowns, Trimble MAPS partnered with Perdue University and Indiana’s Joint Transportation Research Program to develop an in-cab audible and visual alert system that detects traffic backups, such as in work zones or due to accidents.

“We are big believers in the power of technology to empower drivers to make better, smarter, safer decisions on the road,” said Dan Popkin, senior vice president at Trimble MAPS Division. “We are excited to work with the JTRP to help advance research and pioneer innovative technology that can reduce accidents and ultimately save lives.”

The program compares live traffic data to the planned route to identify impending congestion, and once launched mid-summer 2020, could warn hundreds of thousands of drivers who use Trimble’s commercial navigation and driver trip planning apps CoPilot Truck and MileOn by PC*MILER. The early warning system will also be available through telematics and electronic logging devices running these apps, as well as the Trip Management API in the Trimble MAPS Platform.

“Construction zone safety for workers and motorists is our highest priority,” said Indiana Department of Transportation commissioner Joe McGuinness. “We are pleased to partner with private sector stakeholders in leveraging technology to make our highways safer for all."

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