Abstract image of red light trails

New feature set in Altitude’s Origin & Destination product gives transportation planners visibility into the common routes between areas of interest.

 

Timing is everything when it comes to goods movement. Keeping freight moving is not only critical for the end users of those goods but for the overall health of the economy. That’s why it’s critical to understand why delays happen and to establish the benchmarks for how long it takes commercial vehicles to get from Point A to Point B. The Geotab ITS Altitude platform provides necessary insight into the start and end points of a vehicle journey through its Origin & Destination product. Beyond that, the tool helps users understand the true purposes of these trips with insight into aggregate freight activity.

But what about the actual route taken? How can transportation planners gain insight into the roads frequently traveled between origins and destinations?

 

New Route Analytics feature in Origin & Destination

Often when it comes to vacation planning or organizing a road trip, it’s all about the destination. Figuring out the fastest way to get to the finish line is the priority, many overlook the actual route taken. However, for transportation planners, having visibility into the routes taken by commercial vehicles is paramount for making informed infrastructure investment decisions.

That’s where the new Route Analytics feature set comes into play. This latest addition to Altitude’s Origin & Destination product allows transportation planners to gain visibility into the common routes taken for commercial vehicles.

 

Identifying popular routes

Altitude users gain unique insights into goods movement and how those goods move through their areas of interest. Take for example reviewing shipments. Often transportation planners will want to understand the volumes of traffic for those shipments at different origins and destinations but it’s also important to see how those goods got to their final location by uncovering which route was taken to get there. Now users can examine the shipments from the port of origin through to a distribution warehouse for fulfillment, looking at the popular routes taken to get there.

With Route Analytics, users can see which roadways are being used between origins and destinations to determine the most common or popular routes as well as associated variant routes. Not only that, but the tool will also drill down into the classification of vehicles and which industries are using those roadways more frequently. This is important information for planners looking at required infrastructure improvements or changes in order to accommodate these levels of traffic and the types of vehicles on their roads.

Thinking about the future of commercial transportation, planners are starting to look at how to adapt to the growing use of electric vehicles. Route Analytics can be incredibly helpful in this scenario as well. As government agencies and grid providers look to build out electrification infrastructure, they can strategically identify areas where it makes the most sense to place charging stations for electric vehicles and trucks to plug in along the most common routes.

 

Going granular for a deeper look

Grouping or classifying similar routes with Route Analytics will help planners dive into the specifics of popular routes taken in their jurisdictions. If small deviations of the route are of interest to planners, they can hone in on those markers to better understand traffic patterns.

For example, heavy-duty trucks might be deviating from standard trucking routes in city centers. Knowing which exits, detours or major road arteries are being taken instead, planners can then accommodate those different vehicle classes on their roads to keep traffic flowing.

Keeping in line with all of the other features and products within the Altitude platform, Route Analytics offers a deeper understanding of traffic behavior, by providing the ability to drill down into contextual information like vehicle class, vocation and industry.

 

Route Analytics in action

Here’s a short demo video of Route Analytics showing port entries and departures to gain a better understanding of freight activity once it leaves the port and heads to its final destination. Depending on the origin and destination, these routes could be of interest for regional planners to determine how freight is moving through their city and how to plan infrastructure to keep their local economies moving.

Here we focus on the Port of Savannah using a custom zone to mark off the surrounding areas of interest. Then we drill-down into the routes taken between the surrounding locations to get to or from the port, as well as routes taken by commercial vehicles leaving the port to see which locations they end up at.

 

 

By highlighting the popular routes, transportation planners can easily see which roadways are most impacted by freight movement coming in and out of the port. In addition to understanding the impact of volume along these roadways, the Route Analytics feature set also offers visibility into road speeds and traffic congestion.

Another video shows long-haul routes as freight moves over state borders from its origin to its destination. This is of particular interest to national organizations looking to optimize supply chain networks across the country.

Here we’ve looked at different points of origin across California counties to see the most popular routes taken to end destination states spanning Colorado, Oregon and Texas.

 

 

The routes are dominated by heavy-duty trucks and analysts can see which highways are seeing the most commercial traffic for interstate journeys. Not only are popular routes of interest, but also the lesser taken variant routes can shed light on where commercial vehicles are taking detours before getting back on major roads.

 

Adding context to routes taken

Understanding which origins and destinations are generating the most commercial traffic is crucial for effective logistics and transportation planning. Now armed with information on the routes taken by those vehicles will add an additional layer of context into piecing together a vehicle’s entire journey.

By looking at popular roadways and routes taken by commercial vehicles, planners can develop an infrastructure plan that keeps drivers and their freight moving safely and efficiently. Understanding all the points along a commercial vehicle’s journey provides the right contextual data to make key infrastructure and policy decisions with confidence.

If you are a current user of our Origin & Destination product, you’ll find the Route Analytics capabilities included when you are viewing details of our analysis. If you are not a current user and have questions about Route Analytics or O&D, please book a demo or reach out to us at its@geotab.com.