Where are Your Drivers? Trucker Lost in Oregon Woods for Days with Wrong GPS Info


A trucker was lost in snow-covered woods in Oregon for four days when the wrong address was plugged into the GPS. He managed to survive and walk back to more populated areas when his truck got stuck on small roads.



The roads started paved but narrowed ahead. Jacob Cartwright, the driver, was hauling potato chips in a tractor-trailer from Portland, northwestern Oregon, to Nyssa along the Idaho border, slated to cover about 400 miles. He was working with wrong information, plugging the wrong address into the system, which prompted the GPS system to direct him through Pendleton, along a US Forest Service road.


His family and the local authorities searched for him tirelessly, until he just reappeared.


A worrying story with a happy ending.


But as from anything, we learn and evolve from this. Jacob learned to doublecheck and verify every address he puts in the system. But, if not him, then someone else. This problem is bound to repeat as human errors are quite difficult to avoid.


There is a better way. Even though it may seem like an attempt to leverage a solution, it isn’t so. There is ‘genuinely’ a better way, and it has been implemented across many of the large transport companies across the world.


Live Tracking of Drivers


Track the movement and activities of all your drivers in real-time from a single dashboard. Little Trees Transportation, Jacob’s employers, could track him as he moved with the potato chips. The tracking system also supports driver behavior analysis. If someone, not Jacob but any other driver, was speeding, unnecessarily detained, or taken a different route than the one planned, the company would get instant alerts.


What should have happened?


Little Trees Transportation, had they integrated with logistics optimization solution like that of LogiNext, they…


  • could have automatically updated the perfect route for Jacob so that he wouldn’t have to plug in the address details, the driver’s app would have pulled in the location from the central system and shown the ideal route to be followed;


  • could have gotten an alert within their web and app systems when Jacob took a different route than the one they had planned, helping them react in a timelier manner rather than just blindly searching for him for four days; and


  • could have recorded his current location (where he was detained) so that the authorities could just reach there quickly (the company would have also received detention alerts showing that Jacob was stuck).


A similar situation occurred with one of our clients where we tracked, within moments, a high-value shipment which was stolen, prompting the company and the authorities to reach immediately and catch the perpetrators. More on that later…


Machine-Learning Enabled Address Verification


There’s another side to the story. Our machine learning algorithms identify flawed or inconsistent addresses and fix them before planning routes for them. This means that Little Trees Transportation or Jacob wouldn’t have to deal with wrong addresses in the first place.


In the world of connected movement, technology can bridge such gaps and make a safer world for Jacob and other drivers like him. Companies can benefit from greater visibility and risk-control. All in all, this is the way now, not just ahead.


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