Senators demand GPS updates to keep trucks off restricted roads

They've demanded that big tech companies like Apple, Google, and Waze, make some changes.

Google Apple GPS

A group of U.S. Senators have written a letter to Google, Apple, and Waze to demand that they update GPS applications in hopes of keeping too-tall trucks off of parkways.

This week, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal, Charles E. Schumer, and Edward J. Markey penned a letter to Google, Apple, and Waze demanding that the manufacturers update their non-truck-specific GPS applications to include commercial vehicle routing information in order to keep truckers off of restricted roads in Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts.

The number one excuse from truck drivers that get stuck on the Merritt-Wilbur Cross Parkways is a GPS directed them…

Posted by Senator Richard Blumenthal on Monday, January 13, 2020

From a news release from the office of Blumenthal:

Low bridges, including those on the Merritt and Wilbur Cross Parkways in Connecticut, Hutchinson Parkway in New York, and Storrow Drive in Boston, are frequently struck by oversized vehicles where drivers are using GPS applications designed for passenger vehicle drivers.

While truck-specific smartphone navigation applications already exist to help truck drivers avoid restrictions like low bridges and other commercial vehicle prohibitions, they often require subscriptions for full functionality, limiting their usage.

The Senators say that as more truck drivers rely on free smartphone GPS applications like those provided by Apple and Google that don’t have commercial vehicle height, weight, or hazmat information, they are more likely to end up on restricted roadways, “which can cause accidents that adversely impact traffic patterns, inflict damage to roadways and overpasses, and even result in fatalities.”

“Integrating warning features into universally available navigation applications, like Google Maps, would make them more widely accessible, preventing further accidents. Your application already allows users to make choices about what kind of information is displayed to them. One possible solution is allowing users to indicate they are driving commercial vehicles and alerting them to restrictions on roadways. We strongly urge your company to develop and implement solutions for commercial vehicle drivers relying on your navigation platform. It will undoubtedly reduce accidents and traffic delays caused by commercial vehicles operating on restricted roads. We appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to your response,” the Senators wrote.

It isn’t clear whether Google, Apple, and Waze will comply with the lawmakers’ demands.