NTSB to Tech Companies: Integrate Grade Crossings into Map Data

By Paul Riegler on 20 December 2016
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IMG_6555 (1)The National Transportation Safety Board asked 11 technology and delivery companies to add the locations of thousands of grade crossings to their digital map software and to alert drivers when they are approaching such a crossing.

The National Transportation Safety Board asked 11 technology and delivery companies to add the locations of thousands of grade crossings to their digital map software and to alert drivers when they are approaching such a crossing.

Once in place, warnings that a driver is about to approach a grade crossing – an intersection where a railway line crosses a road or highway – will join alerts for traffic jams, construction, lane and road closures.

As drivers become more dependent on navigation systems, grade crossings have become increasingly dangerous because drivers in unfamiliar areas may not realize they are about to enter one. As a result, there have been several hundred accidents in recent years involving grade crossings.

In its recommendation, the NTSB cited the case of Jose Alejandro Sanchez-Ramirez who lodged his Ford F450 truck on railroad tracks in California and abandoned the vehicle. An Amtrak commuter train subsequently collided with the truck, resulting in the death of the train’s engineer as well as causing 32 other injuries.

The list of companies includes Apple and Google, both of which have already agreed to integrate the data, as well as Garmin, TomTom, and UPS.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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