(Requires v10.7 release or higher with CoPilot FleetPortal enabled)
A Site extends a location from just a name and address to include a boundary polygon around its perimeter, entry and exit points (gates), and other valuable information. For example, a Site could be a warehouse, a shopping mall, a distribution center, a yard, a business park, and more. Routing to a Site can provide more accurate directions and time and distance estimates, as well as other details a driver needs to avoid getting lost, feeling stressed or wasting time.
In this article:
How Site Routing Works
Traditional routing sends a driver to an address or a latitude/longitude point, which may not be the proper truck or delivery entrance. By creating a site, you can specify exactly where a driver needs to approach, enter and exit the stop.
If a Site includes an internal road network, CoPilot will route directly to the driver’s final stop. Once the driver arrives, CoPilot switches to a 2D overview to help orient the driver within the Site.
If the Site does not include an internal road network, CoPilot switches to a 2D overview after arrival at the gate and draws a straight line to help direct the driver to where his or her stop is within the Site.
Adding Site-Specific Details
Upon approach to the Site’s gate, CoPilot can also provide the driver with a short pop up message that is specific to that particular Site and gate—perhaps things like parking information or details about the delivery location itself, including warnings about hazards (overhangs, etc.). Messages are shown on the CoPilot screen and spoken upon approach to the Site’s gate. These Site notes are written and stored in ALK Content Tools when each gate is created within a Site.
Sites are created around custom Places in the ALK Content Tools web tool and then shared with CoPilot for use in routing. ALK Content Tools also includes thousands of predefined Places with Sites (created by ALK) for distribution centers, intermodal terminals and truck stops. In the event that a user creates a Site on top of an predefined Site, CoPilot will always prefer the user’s custom Site over the predefined Site.
NOTE: User created content is private and is not shared outside of your account.
A hospital site created in ALK Content Tools
The hospital site in CoPilot
Delivery of Site Information to CoPilot
Similar to custom Places or Route Modifiers (avoids/favors), Sites are sent to the CoPilot device via the CoPilot FleetPortal web tool. Sites are applied to routing by default—there is no option to turn off Sites in the CoPilot user interface. However, Sites can be disabled with a configuration that can be sent via CoPilot FleetPortal.
Site information is not automatically downloaded and stored on the CoPilot device—it is delivered on-demand, which requires that the device have a WiFi or a cellular network connection. When you run a route in CoPilot:
1. CoPilot will check its local cache of previously routed Sites, and it will use that Site information if it applies to one of the stops on your current route.
2. CoPilot will also make a web service call to check for:
- A newer version of a locally cached Site on your route. If a newer version is found, then the Site data is returned to CoPilot and used in routing. Otherwise, nothing is returned.
- Any version of a Site for stops on your current route with no locally cached Site.
3. Each time a stop is called when creating a new route, CoPilot will check again for updated Site information.
Notes on Sites
Sites are not searchable in CoPilot but are associated with Places, which are searchable.
The Sites feature supports truck and auto vehicle routing profiles. ALK Sites have both auto and truck gates. ALK Content Tools also allows the user to choose which vehicle types are permitted when adding gates to a Site.
If the roads around a Site include custom Route Modifiers, the Modifiers will be taken into consideration when the route to that Site is generated.
In order for Sites routing to work properly, the stop must fall within the Site boundary. If you have a custom Place located just outside of a Site and choose that Place as a stop, the Site information will not be applied to routing.
You don't need to create multiple Sites for a single physical location that contains distinct customer or work type locations (e.g. cold vs. dry dock, customer vs. pallet provider, multiple warehouse tenants). You could have any number of custom Places that inherit the Site gates and routing from a single Site, as long as they all fall within that Site's boundaries.