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The ‘best way’ to drive

New automated route diversion system is now live

A test image

Distribution managers can look forward to their drivers’ confidence being boosted going forward, thanks to the launch of the Highways England Automated Diversion System (HEADS) this October.

Dennis Welton, Head of Central Postal Control, explains: “Our former manual system already combined road closure information with historical Isotrak telemetry data from our linehaul vehicles to determine the recommended diversion routes – in other words, we have already been using information from the diversions that our drivers follow to recommend the best route options in each scenario. 

“Developed by Royal Mail Group’s GBI Data Science Group in close collaboration with Central Postal Control (CPC), HEADS represents a quantum leap. The new system automates the process by combining accurate road closure information with actual, historical Isotrak telemetry data from our linehaul vehicles to yield a fully fact-based, optimal alternative road routes between our operations, and then presents the information in two useful formats – tables and graphic overlays on maps.”

Fully supportive of the new system, Nick Dunn, National Distribution Director, adds “Being an automated system, HEADS is far more efficient than our former labour-intensive approach and also minimises human intervention to yield more reliable and timely information for distribution to our VOCs. This means that our drivers can have complete confidence in the recommended diversions.”

HEADS will also enable better forward-planning through a weekly look-ahead of planned road closures and self-sustain through automatic vehicle tracking and generation of diversion plans. Future enhancements are already planned, including a dashboard for our VOCs. “This will enable better information sharing and equip our distribution teams for improved proactivity,” says Dennis.