Trimble work zone alerts designed to reduce rear-end crashes involving heavy trucks (VIDEO)

Trimble is partnering with Perdue University to develop a slowdown alert that could help reduce rear-end crashes in work zones.

Audible and visual alerts would be sent to commercial truck drivers via the company’s navigation and trip planning apps. The new alert service is expected to be available in June, Trimble says.

The alert service would use Trimble’s CoPilot Truck and MileOn by PCMiler apps or could be integrated into telematics and electronic logging devices. It will also be available on the Trip Management API in the Trimble MAPS platform.

Trimble says the system will alert drivers to slow down when it detects a drop in speed ahead. The goal is to prevent tractor trailers, which need a 50 percent longer stopping distance than cars at highway speeds, from driving too fast into work zones. Trimble cites Federal Highway Administration statistics that rear-end crashes are the leading cause of accidents in work zones. This often occurs when traffic gets backed up and drivers don’t stop in time. Trimble notes that in some cases traffic is having to slow down from 65 mph to 10 mph within a short distance.

Trimble Slowdown Alert

The app will interpret planned trucking routes throughout the United States against real-time traffic incidents and detect work-zone traffic queues, the company says.

The partnership in developing the service includes Purdue’s Joint Transportation Research Program, which helps facilitate collaboration among the Indiana Department of Transportation, higher education and industry.

Darcy Bullock, professor of civil engineering and director of the Joint Transportation Research Program, said Trimble was chosen for the research project because of Trimble MAPS’s widespread use by commercial drivers.

“Our research has shown that there is sufficient penetration of connected vehicles operating on highways that we can provide advance warning of interstate queues,” Bullock says. “If we can communicate that information in a timely and non-distracting manner to commercial vehicles, this will provide an opportunity to reduce rear-end crashes involving trucks.”

To watch a video of how the Trimble shutdown alert would work, see below: