Monday, April 22, 2013

Road Haulage and Freight Interests Approve Cyclist Safety Sat Nav Technology

Truck Drivers Warned of Potential Dangers via GPS
Shipping News Feature

UK – Satellite navigation specialist, Navevo, has developed a sat nav based HGV Cyclist Alert feature, designed to notify drivers of high HGV/Cyclist convergence areas and prompt them to take extra care. Created in association with the Transport for London (TfL), the software will be available on the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and the Road Haulage Association (RHA) approved ProNav GPS for HGV drivers and will come as standard on the new ProNav PNN420 sat nav. Navevo CEO, Nick Caesari said:

"A navigation system is something a driver is likely to be listening to as they approach a junction and so it makes perfect sense to also alert the driver of the risk of cyclists, reminding them to be observant and drive safely. The safety of drivers, cyclists and other users of the road is a concern for everybody and we are proud to lead the navigation industry by launching this ‘world first’ safety feature, which we believe could significantly contribute in improving road safety and reducing the number of incidents involving HGVs and cyclists."

With the growing number of cyclists in London and the safety risks that arise when HGVs are traversing busy London junctions and interchanges, the software has been developed to provide a commercial vehicle driver with an audible and visual alert as they approach an area that has been determined to be a location where there are regularly high volumes of HGVs and cyclists. A warning symbol is displayed on the navigation system's mapping that projects a 50 metre radius ‘warning zone’ around each HGV/Cyclist convergence area, and drivers are also provided with a short audible tone as a reminder, allowing plenty of time to check for any cyclists on the road.

The HGV Cyclist Alert software uses data provided by TfL and the most up to date Department for Transport HGV and pedal cycle flow figures for London's road network. The dataset uses this information to identify locations where large numbers of HGVs and cyclists converge. Initially, 100 high convergence areas across London have been included (as alerts at every junction would be counterproductive to drivers). Working with other local authorities both in London and nationally, Navevo plans to increase the level of coverage and will provide free updates when new data becomes available. Ian Wainwright, Head of Freight and Fleet at Transport for London said:

"For many years, London has worked to lead the way in pushing for the adoption of safer lorries and safer lorry driving. The creation of a specific cyclist alert for HGV drivers is another positive step forward and will help to further raise awareness and improve cycle safety across the capital."

Photo: ProNav with cyclist alert screen.