Automated polygon geofences give drivers improved insights to their exact destination by curating precise boundaries for any node of the supply chain. The prior types of geofencing, including hand-drawn boundaries or arbitrary circles, weren’t as specific and often didn’t include accurate information that risked misleading drivers and transportation teams. With automated polygon geofencing data, fleet managers and trucking companies benefit, as they minimize wasted time by receiving extremely accurate location analytics.
Automated polygon geofences are the focus of a Road Forward podcast, presented by TruckSpy. Lucas Schorer, president and co-founder of Kestrel Insights (KI), chatted with host Alex Chubenko. They discuss how automated polygon geofencing enables carriers and transporters to curate precise boundaries, how this allows for the supply chain and freight transactions to run more efficiently, how detention fees can be avoided, and even how 3D geofences could one day be used in autonomous drone deliveries. Here’s more on the podcast discussion, along with how automated polygon geofencing data can complement your business.
Automated Polygon Geofences for Improved Communication
Polygon geofencing can do wonders in improving communication between businesses and drivers. KI’s Schorer noted that showing exact facility boundaries helps teams better utilize in-house resources. “If we can take tasks off of that back of the office, behind the scenes, that’s more time that can (be used to) support drivers, communicate with drivers,” Schorer said. He adds that the old way of outlining the geofencing boundaries was often inaccurate and resulted in lost time. Additional time can be spent on supporting drivers in other, more profitable ways.
Detention Issues can be Resolved
Schorer points out how much more accurate an automated polygon can be. Circular geofences are “incredibly inaccurate,” Schorer said, citing an example where a Home Depot distribution center located at 2320 Beckleymeade Ave, in Dallas Texas, was kitty-corner from a Love’s Travel Stop. The truck was “getting these insane detention reports, 6, 7, 8 hours,” he said. This was happening even though the trucks weren’t at the distribution center yet. Drivers were pulling into the Love’s hours before, filling up on gas or resting before the appointment. Because they were technically in the large boundary circle shown on the map, they were charged as being at the distribution center, not at the Love’s. Improved polygon geofencing can alleviate these problems by reporting exactly where the truck is at all times.
As new, fresh data is collected with each trip, the information is becoming even more accurate. “We’re maintaining that database and constantly growing new locations,” Schorer said. “We’ve got an automated system for any load that comes through point A, point B, we can create geofences and continue to grow that database.”
Automated Polygon Geofences for Improved Efficiency
Schorer notes how the automated polygon geofencing data helps drivers know exactly where to go. “it’s that blue dot that we always see … on the map,” he said. “But that blue dot, it doesn’t get you all the way there. So a geofence by itself is completely useless, a blue dot by itself is completely useless. What we want to do is bring together the two and compare that location to the geofence. So once that blue dot breaks that geofence, now is when you can start to automate check-in procedures and arrival times.”
Before polygon geofencing, Schorer said, if a truck drove down a street with several distribution centers near each other, it would create “false positives” by showing that a truck is arriving, departing, and arriving again even though it hasn’t yet hit the destination point – all because there wasn’t accurate data within that circle and didn’t, according to Schorer, “have the accurate geofence to avoid those false positives.” Polygon geofencing takes away the inaccuracy issues that occur once a truck entered that circle on the map.
Route Planning can be Enhanced
A driver heading to a dropoff point for the first time will not know the lay of the land. They won’t be aware of any potential obstacles in their way. They may have never even been to that city before. Automated polygon geofencing proves to be a massive boon in these situations. Now drivers can immediately find the most accessible path to their destination. Schorer said: “If it’s a really large location where you want to be able to maybe track when they got there … You could put a geofence around the gate, but then maybe there’s individual buildings or destinations on site that you want better visibility … inside this massive campus or this massive space.”
Polygon Geofencing can be quickly implemented
Implementing polygon geofencing is not an extensive, drawn-out procedure. Schorer said that companies already possess the proper infrastructure and that Kestrel Insights can quickly facilitate the change. “There’s very little barrier to entry,” he said. Many teams “are already using geofencing. We didn’t invent geofencing; we are just using a better data source.” Schorer says companies can “leverage this type of data immediately.” He added that polygon geofences don’t just “spawn out of mid-air. Someone has to create them.” Companies don’t have to face the challenge of curating their own geofences. Kestrel Insights’ technology can assist with that.
Enhanced Security with Automated Polygon Geofences
Sending a truck into a location where the driver has never been, or the map is incomplete or inaccurate, can be asking for trouble. Is the area in a bad part of town? You wouldn’t want the driver stumbling around in such areas, with a truck full of cargo, putting their safety at risk as they search in vain for the exact destination. With polygon geofences, the chances of assets being misplaced or stolen — or the driver suffering harm — are decreased dramatically. Fewer minutes are spent looking for the destination because the driver knows exactly where to go.
Increased Safety of Drivers and Cargo
Automated polygon geofencing monitors risky spots along the route while keeping tabs on if their truck is entering that location, and, if possible, avoiding it completely. And caution must be used when drivers enter certain areas. For example, driving around a giant military base can be problematic, but polygon geofencing shows the driver exactly where to go. In a situation like that, the circular dot doesn’t get you all the way there. Schorer said that “nesting” is possible – placing geofences inside of geofences for an even more accurate map. He says the driver can now “look at a map and see ‘OK, this is the exact building I’m going to’ instead of the general area.” With real-time data, the drivers’ location is known at all times and people at the destination can better prepare for their arrival.
Future Applications of Automated Polygon Geofences
Schorer even touches on what may lie ahead. Automated polygon geofencing allows for not just exact 2D maps, but may be able to create precise 3D maps to allow for drones. Schorer said the current focus is on supporting the drivers, but in the future, there may be more possibilities. He said: “People have reached out for drone delivery because you’ve got the polygon for the 2D view on a map, but what if we look at that 3D now and add a Z component to it to say, ‘all right, this geofence, but now a hundred meters high’ and you can now create these 3D geofences to help with that arrival of drones and things like that.”
Kestrel Insights is Taking Geofencing to the Next Level
Automated Polygon Geofences have become a powerful, extremely accurate data tool that has transformed how maps are curated. The real-time tracking and advanced data dramatically cut down on any wasted time, which makes everything flow better for the whole company. Detention times and delays spent looking for the exact destination point can be eliminated by using polygon geofences. If curating geofencing on a map is not a part of the core competency of your business, Kestrel Insights can help lift you to the next level by quickly implementing the data. Visit their website to kick your geofencing up a notch to save time and money. Check out the podcast interview with Kestrel Insights President Lucas Schorer to hear everything he says about how automated polygon geofencing is changing the shipping industry.