For its consumer customers, WowTruck has implemented a convenient app that can be used to schedule and book a pickup. For example, an individual who’s rented a new apartment wants to hire a truck to move their belongings to their new home. That individual would open the WowTruck app and enter their current and destination addresses and request a pickup.
On the backend, there could be multiple trucks nearby also using the app. Each of those truck drivers will see the individual’s request. One driver will accept the job based on location and price. The app then shows the individual’s location on a map. The driver is routed to the pickup point, loads the goods, and uses the WowTruck app to efficiently route to the destination.
From a business-to-business (B2B) side, the WowTruck app connects shippers to carriers or drivers. The company also maintains a call center that supports the driver on their way. Understanding the challenges of asset visibility, WowTruck designed its system to include business critical use cases:
- Early notification – When a truck is close to its destination, the WowTruck system triggers an alert to a supervisor. In turn, loading staff are notified to prepare to load or unload the trailer.
- Idle alert – Notifies the call center when a truck has not moved for a specific period. The call center representative can contact the driver to verify that there’s not an issue with the delivery.
- Dynamic ETA – By using real-time location data, an estimated time of arrival (ETA) alert is sent to the customer for the estimated pickup/drop off time. This is a vast improvement over the previous “as the crow-flies” (i.e., straight line) calculation which used the fixed speed of trucks.
- Best route calculation – An algorithm sends the driver the fastest, safest and most efficient route to the destination.
Selecting the best location data provider
To find the best location technology provider for its needs, WowTruck conducted several proof-of-concept studies, on both mobile and web interfaces using PHP and React JS. The company checked the accuracy of waypoints, the reverse geocoder and route efficiency.
Following detailed analysis, TomTom came out on top. WowTruck compared various Maps APIs and found that the TomTom Routing API is more flexible and extensive in terms of parameters. This translates to superior fastest route calculations, making it more suitable for trucking applications. Truck routing is very different than vehicle routing, where turning radius, vehicle dimension, weight and cargo type (i.e., HAZMAT) must be considered. The TomTom Routing API is purpose-built for the specific challenges associated with routing large fleet vehicles, a true differentiator for fleet management software companies and fleet managers.
In addition to technology, WowTruck evaluated non-technical considerations. The TomTom pricing model offers certainty and complete control over spending, reducing the impact on unplanned surprises. WowTruck was also impressed with how TomTom demonstrated the qualities of a trusted partner by offering access to technical resources and providing early access to beta products for testing.
Joseph Stervin, CTO at WowTruck says, “The TomTom price model helped us to realize a 68% reduction in our costs. We also really appreciate how TomTom gave us early access to their innovative beta products so that we could test them against our various use cases. Their pricing and flexibility are a true differentiator for us.” Stervin added, “Their APIs are extensive, robust and easy to implement”.