January 19, 2022
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The Illinois Department of Transportation is deploying a “route guidance” mobile application for routine oversize and overweight permits that features audible turn-by-turn technology to enable truck drivers to hear directions while keeping their attention on the road. The agency said it developed this new app in cooperation with private sector software provider ProMiles.

[Above photo by the Illinois DOT]

“Illinois is the country’s freight hub, with the safe and efficient movement of goods critical to our economy and the nation’s supply chain,” noted Illinois DOT Secretary Omer Osman in a statement.

Omer Osman

“By helping truck drivers reach their destinations faster, with more ease and fewer distractions, we are providing a valuable service to all motorists and the general public alike,” he added.

The new app, which went live December 1, provides verbal directions to truck drivers similar to other GPS navigation programs, with the exception that the directions are specific to the permitted load and route. The audio directions let truck drivers know if they need to be in a specific lane, warns of minor turns, and issues alerts if they stray from their designated route.

The Illinois DOT noted that, often times, routes created by modern permitting systems are difficult to follow from written directions, which can lead to vehicles going off their route – sometimes with tragic results. The agency said its new app helps truck drivers follow those complicated routes with greater ease and safety.

Illinois DOT added that the app is also part of a broader initiative to reduce the number of bridge strikes across the state, with an overall goal of improving safety for all travelers.

State departments of transportation across of the country are regularly deploying mobile apps to address any number issues, from highway littering to the navigation needs of motorists.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation, for example, unveiled mobile-friendly web app in April that allows drivers to report motorists who throw trash from their vehicles.

Also in April, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority updated the “Drive Oklahoma” mobile app and companion website – offering enhanced navigation tools and better options for checking traffic on interstates, highways, plus state roads and turnpikes before venturing out.

In September, the Arizona Department of Transportation deployed a free mobile app for Apple and Android devices communicate traffic information and navigation details regarding the $56 million I-15 Virgin River Bridge replacement project.

Designed by Kiewit Corporation, the contractor for the I-15 bridge replacement project, the new smartphone app – entitled “Virgin River Bridge” – issues updates on construction activities that may affect traffic flow on I-15, including lane restrictions and oversize truck detours.

editor@aashto.org

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