COMPETITION WATCH: Tennessee carrier provides voice-guided navigation for its drivers

Truck News

PRINCETON, N.J. — U.S. Xpress has reportedly decided to deploy ALK Technology’s CoPilot Truck GPS navigation system across its entire fleet of more than 5,000 power units.

The Chattanooga, Tenn.-based carrier will become the largest major motor carrier to provide its drivers with spoken, truck-specific, turn-by-turn directions, according to ALK. ALK is the developer of routing, mileage and mapping software solutions, including the mileage application PC*MILER.

The carrier recently decided to adopt CoPilot Truck company-wide. CoPilot Truck is a solution that gets drivers where they need to go while avoiding restricted roads, tunnels and bridges; easing the frequently intense hassle of driving a large truck in unfamiliar territory, noted the software maker.

The ability of CoPilot Truck to automatically recalculate routes based on factors such as traffic, construction or accidents is a key benefit for drivers and carriers.

“Drivers should not have to stop to look at an atlas and redirect themselves,” said Jeff Seibenhener, vice-president information technology for U.S. Xpress. “If they actually do get off route, for whatever reason, CoPilot Truck will determine a new route for the driver. Basically it should never allow them to get lost.”

Seibenhener further explained that U.S. Xpress chose to implement CoPilot for overall operational efficiency, and specifically to better utilize driver time and fuel use.

“A big part of the decision to go with CoPilot was to help retain and attract drivers, “Seibenhener said. “We interviewed drivers, ex-drivers and driver liaisons and found that directions were among the top three issues they had. So we’re addressing a top-three issue with our drivers.”

CoPilot Truck is available in versions for both laptop and handheld computers. It does not require a mobile communications system or wireless Internet connection.

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