As part of the 8th annual ALK Technology Summit in Princeton, N.J., executives from ALK Technologies gave product updates and a strategic roadmap. This year’s event was attended by a record 250 fleet executives and technology suppliers.
Barry Glick, chief executive of ALK, used the term “geologistics” to describe ALK. Everything the company does is related to location information, map visualization and routing for the transportation and logistics industry, he said. Since joining the company a year ago, Glick has reorganized ALK into two groups: One is focused on its consumer navigation products, and the other is the Enterprise Solutions Group. During the past year, this strategy has led to closer integration between its in-cab navigation technology and back-end mileage, mapping and routing software.
Every spring, ALK releases a new version of its flagship PC Miler software for mapping, mileage and routing. This year, a new breakthrough feature in PC Miler version 26 — scheduled for release in June — is RouteSync. This new feature directly links PC Miler in the back office to ALK’s latest in-cab navigation software, CoPilot Truck version 9.
RouteSync sends PC Miler preferred and custom route settings (toll discouraged, practical, hazmat, etc.) from the back office to the CoPilot Truck app, which runs on most third-party mobile computing platforms and vendor-neutral smartphones and tablets. The navigation system will alert drivers when they go out of route at the moment they miss a turn or leave a route. The office also can get real-time alerts of events and a post-mortem report for out-of-route mileage.
Michael Kornhauser, senior vice president of ALK’s Enterprise Solutions Group, said PC Miler 26 offers a new “fastest routing” option that considers both real-time and historical traffic information to optimize truck routes. In the truck, CoPilot has a new ActiveTraffic feature to pull in a real-time feed of road speeds. Traffic speed information is visual on the app and dynamically shows the estimated arrival time. The feature also will check the ETA of alternate routes.
PC Miler 26 also has enhanced mapping features with photographic satellite imagery with the ability to “click and drag” road segments to generate a custom route line. Other features of PC Miler 26 include a new RouteMatrix functionality to look up distances in mass quantities of origin/destination pairs quickly.
ALK’s new PC Miler Rail product, released a few months ago, has new intermodal analysis capabilities for fleets to compare truck and intermodal route options. Currently this analysis can be done only outside the native environment using a connectivity product called PC Miler Spreadsheets. Eventually the company will create one interface for its PC Miler truck and rail products to analyze intermodal and truck routes.