What you need to know
- TomTom introduced a new "truck plan" in its GO Navigation app.
- Truck drivers who subscribe to TomTom GO Navigation will be able to plan routes differently than other drivers.
- The feature is available now, and will only work on Android devices for now.
Being a truck driver is essential work, but can also be a thankless job, and TomTom is hoping to make things a little easier when getting from one stop to another. Its GO Navigation app now features a "truck plan" as an add-on to its premium subscription mapping service only available on Android.
The idea is to simplify trucking routes by pointing out the things drivers need along the way. That means routes will take into account how big the vehicle is, what fuel it needs, the desired maximum speed, and whether or not it's carrying cargo that could be dangerous to others.
Vehicle size and cargo type also have legal implications, particularly when it comes to speed limits or staying away from prohibited routes. UN Class restrictions also come into play for compliance, especially when crossing borders. TomTom says further updates will bring in information about low emission zones, among other potential additions.
To help make routes smoother, drivers will be able to set multiple drop-offs with points of interest along the way on their Android phones. Gas stations that can cater to large trucks, as well as truck stops for overnight stays, are two that will pop up on the map. Others, like parking for any reason, will appear on the map to guide drivers when they need to stop, regardless of whether it's part of the route or not.
The Route Bar shows all pertinent info related to the route, like where the stops are, what restrictions exist en route, and any other alerts that might pop up. The truck plan map already integrates existing navigation features TomTom includes in its maps, like live traffic and intuitive lane guidance.
Since TomTom GO already works with Android Auto, trucks equipped with the ability to run that platform will have the chance to sync the route info with head unit display. TomTom says it designed the truck plan user interface to minimize distractions, and that it is prioritizing ETAs (estimated time of arrival) to change in real time based on incoming traffic data.
While other popular mapping apps, like Google Maps and Waze, also focus on finding the best routes, they don't have features specific to trucks. TomTom believes an added focus on truck drivers will help them stay focused on the road and on schedule.
TomTom is offering its truck plan for 50% off until Sept. 21, and applies to both new and existing GO Navigation users.
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Ted Kritsonis loves taking photos when the opportunity arises, be it on a camera or smartphone. Beyond sports and world history, you can find him tinkering with gadgets or enjoying a cigar. Often times, that will be with a pair of headphones or earbuds playing tunes. When he's not testing something, he's working on the next episode of his podcast, Tednologic.