Bringing together the existing technology of a reputable road haulage app and detailed crime data, which maps the cargo and fuel theft hotspots provided by the Freight Unit of the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS), TT Club’s investment will enable informed decisions leading to a safer and more secure road freight sector.
The Motorway Buddy smartphone app is an established suite of products recognised by the UK government and trade organisations as the go-to truck stop locator for UK and European drivers. The app is a driver-friendly compliance and safety management tool, among other functions it provides the location of over 300 recognised truck stop facilities across the UK.
From its collaboration with BSI in producing an annual cargo theft report, TT Club recognises that in Europe over 60% of reported cargo thefts occur in transit, typically in rest areas or unsecured parking areas. “There is a critical need for hauliers and drivers to be able to make informed risk decisions when it comes to parking their vehicle,” said TT Club’s Managing Director, Loss Prevention Mike Yarwood.
“The development of Motorway Buddy, which we are funding, will enable a data-informed, proactive approach to a constantly evolving risk environment.”
The intention is for Motorway Buddy to become a unified platform, merging its existing truck stop and driver compliance functionality with the theft and crime data provided by NaVCIS to produce a series of heat maps visualising recorded cargo and fuel theft incidents. The data will be updated on a three-month rolling basis, with 12 months of data displayed at any one time.
Chris Holloway, founder of Motorway Buddy, said, “Since the inception of Motorway Buddy our team have always looked at ways of solving the logistics industry’s pain points. Having worked as a driver for over 20 years, and alongside trade associations for the past 9, it has become increasingly apparent that freight crime continues to be a major problem throughout Europe and we are now tremendously excited to be working with the TT Club and NaVCIS Freight to help solve this serious issue.”
The software development will begin immediately with a view to launching the enhanced features on the app in two to three months’ time. For account holders there will also be the ability to record parking facility characteristics (CCTV, secure fencing, and security guard) for future use by hauliers, and insurers if the need arises.
Additional functionality based on statutory driving hours will enable the driver to enter their statutory hours remaining and current location. The app will visually ring fence on the map where the driver can approximately reach within their driving time. The driver can then overlay this map with the crime data to make an informed decision as to where to park their vehicle.
“While available to foreign drivers, the app is in Polish and Romanian language as well as English, the extent of the heat map is currently limited to the UK, we would however envisage an eventual pan-European roll-out,” explained Yarwood. “TT remains committed to a core mission of increasing safety and security in the supply chain and sees this current initiative as part of its central role in allowing operators, in this case haulage managers, principals and drivers, access to data which informs their risk management decisions, as well as supporting liability assessments and possible litigation.”