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New permit route guidance app provides audible turn-by-turn navigation

A new route guidance app for routine oversize and overweight permits is now available. The app features audible turn-by-turn technology, which will enable truck drivers to hear directions while keeping their attention on the road.

“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,” said Transportation Secretary 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.”

The app, which went live Dec. 1, provides verbal directions to the truck driver, 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, helps them to not miss any minor turns and issues alerts if they are off the designated route.

Many times, the routes created by modern permitting systems can be difficult to follow from written directions, which can lead to vehicles going off their route, sometimes with tragic results. This app is designed to help truck drivers follow these complicated routes with more ease. 

“IDOT works to improve safety and reduce distracted driving,” said Permit Unit Chief Geno Koehler. “However, in the permitting world, we require drivers to be distracted by reading permits on paper or their devices while driving. Because a permit requires drivers to take a specific route due to their load size or weight, they cannot just ask Siri for directions. The permit route guidance app is another tool to help the drivers stay on their route. This will reduce problems that occur when getting off route.”

The app is part of an IDOT initiative to reduce the number of bridge strikes, with an overall goal of improving safety for all travelers.

ProMiles is providing the app for free to the industry. Visit IDOT’s automated permits webpage for Instructions on how to download and use the app.