5 key challenges of navigating trucks and commercial vehicles around the world

At first sight, a navigation system might appear like a one-size-fits-all solution. However specific challenges of commercial transportation require specific capabilities – which OEMs and fleet operators simply won’t find in Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze, or other consumer solutions.

What are the typical challenges that navigating trucks, vans, and other commercial vehicles entails?

Specialized routing
From behind the wheel of a passenger car, it might seem that all roads are almost the same. However, roads suitable for larger, heavy-duty vehicles are considerably more limited than the network available to common cars we use in our daily lives.
A reliable professional navigation needs to automatically avoid all roads unsuitable for trucks, special cargoes, or hazardous materials. This is enabled by setting specific vehicle parameters and characteristics, such as height, length, weight, number of axles, type of cargo, and many more. These details define which roads a truck can use without fear of crossing lines, striking an overpass, or encountering a tight intersection. The routing algorithm also needs to take into account information like ADR tunnel codes, HAZMAT restrictions, delivery zones and hours, and any potential legal limitations incorporated in local law.

Reliable map content
However, even the best routing algorithm in the world isn’t worth much when its running on inaccurate, out of date maps and related content.
New roads and infrastructure are built at staggering speeds. Even faster, governments are implementing various restrictions, especially affecting large commercial vehicles still running internal combustion engines (ICEs).
The days when a single map update per year was enough to cover the majority of the changes, are long gone. Furthermore, these updates had to be painstakingly installed, typically during regular vehicle maintenance and service checkups. But today’s fast-paced environment requires more flexible solutions that offer reliable map content updated as frequently as possible. And delivered to the vehicle without it having to visit a service garage.

Working even offline
Whether on a long-haul trip in the middle of nowhere, or at an underground highway crossing a multi-million metropolis – a fast and reliable internet connection can be difficult to come by, even today.
In similar scenarios, solutions relying solely on the online content will get lost very fast. But having maps and other essential information for precise navigation stored locally, eliminates these concerns and ensures a smooth drive towards the final destination. Wherever it’s located.

Built-in or aftermarket?
Purchasing and installing additional hardware to run a navigation solution is an unwelcome hassle. It is time-consuming and expensive, not to mention that if something goes wrong, the devices will require specialized maintenance.
But is there a way out? Absolutely. For automotive OEMs it is about building a reliable professional-grade navigation directly into their new vehicles. On the other hand, businesses operating older commercial vehicles can pick a solution that supports mirroring via Car Play or Android Auto. And if that’s not possible, they can also utilize mobile devices (phones or tablets that drivers are being issued) to eliminate the need for extra hardware.

Finding a solution with specialized routing, frequently updated & reliable map content, working even completely offline, and without needing additional hardware might seem like a tall order. And a costly one.
Yet, Sygic’s Professional Navigation offers all of the above – in a single solution at a fair price. Plus, it also includes extensive additional features – such as driver behavior evaluation, live traffic information, EV routing, SmartCam, fully customizable SDK, and more – that make it the preferred navigation for 2000+ fleets and multiple automotive OEMs around the world.

Robert Feldmar

Robert Feldmar is a Marketing & Brand Communications Specialist at Sygic delivering insightful content for those looking to improve their operations with state-of-the-art navigation. Founded in Bratislava, Slovakia, in 2004, Sygic produced the first-ever turn-by-turn navigation app for the iPhone. The company was also the first offline navigation provider supporting Apple CarPlay and Google's Android Auto. Sygic Professional Navigation is currently navigating 2000+ fleets with more than three million professional drivers globally.

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