I doubt many of us have had to live through the frustration of damaging a lorry under a low lying bridge as a direct result of satnav directions. It seems like a very specific experience – but now it seems to be one that the powers that be are taking in hand.
Apparently the issue of poor satnav directions has affected enough people and lorry drivers for Ordnance Survey to finally step in. The mapping authority is in the middle of creating a database covering 200,00 miles of difficult roads for lorries in order to make sure no more lorries get stuck.
It’s not even just bridges that cause our trucker friends issues – narrow roads, weight restrictions and other restrictions on turning in a certain direction at junctions seem to be exempt from satnav maps. Well, not for long at least.
Richard Burnett, Road Haulage Association chief exec, came out to the BBC to reveal the new trucker friendly database.
“The new database will provide the sat-nav manufacturers with the ability to make journeys for HGV [heavy goods vehicle] drivers safer and more cost-efficient and that’s a big issue for us. However, the new technology can only be considered a real success if each of the sat-nav providers sign up to the new system.”
So, in order for the new system to be genuinely useful, it has to be implemented into existing satnav devices via a download or upgrade. Apparently the data has already needed a £3m contribution from the Department For Transport, and satnav makers already subscribe to some Ordnance Survey data, which costs around 1p per device.
In truth, this upgrade makes sense for both lorry drivers and road users. Lorries cause accidents, damage to themselves, damage to roads and major disruption in travel networks as a result of these satnav related misdirections.
Hopefully it will reduce such issues in the future on our roads, especially as a reliance on smartphones and other devices is on the rise for a new generation of lorry drivers looking to take shortcuts on their journeys.