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I'm building a system that needs to get the output of a route optimizer into the hands of a driver who intends to make deliveries on that route. Whilst I can supply this to the driver as a printed map with route overlay (which requires mapping software), I'm currently wondering whether skipping the mapping software and feeding the list of waypoints directly to a GPS is an option.

I am wondering if anyone knows of any GPS units that (in order of preference);

  1. Can have a list of waypoints forwarded to the unit over WiFi (at the beginning of the journey) or;
  2. Can read a USB stick (not a cable to a PC) with a list of waypoints contained on it
  3. Can have a list of waypoints forwarded to it over 3G

EDIT

The routes are a collection of about 30 stops selected and optimized from a larger collection of 100-200 stops and split between trucks. I may be using the wrong terminology so i'll refer to it now as "a (sequenced) list of waypoints" Whilst my future intention is to create some kind of smartphone/tablet application to display both the waypoints and interactive delivery information, considering I already have the list of waypoints I was wondering (to start with) if there is a quick, automated/integrated method for transferring these to a given driver's GPS unit.

My idea with WiFi (and I don't know if such a device exists) is that when a driver returns a depot, my system can detect the WiFi connection and forward pre-selected list of waypoints to the device.

Are smartphones/tablets the only way to go? I was assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that GPS/navigation devices would by now have some kind of data transfer capability?

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Which GPS device? Which Operating System? - Most Smartphones have GPS built in. It is do-able. –  Mapperz Jun 12 '12 at 13:33
    
@Mapperz Which GPS device is pretty much my question. I'm looking for a navigation device (outside of a smartphone) that I can transfer data to –  Stafford Williams Jun 13 '12 at 0:46
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3 Answers 3

Have you considered using a custom-built iOS or Android app? Possibly a bit more expensive than a regular GPS unit, but would do what you want, and show the map interactively!

It sounds like you could do this pretty easily if you could publish the waypoints somewhere (e.g. on a webserver) and then connect via an app - if you used e.g. an iPad then you'd also have a nice big map for the driver to look at :)

<-- Developer ;)

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I agree smartphones are an option, and certainly I intend to create an interactive application in the future, however I was wondering whether there was a device that (at this point) would just accept the route data to aid in a driver's navigation –  Stafford Williams Jun 13 '12 at 0:47
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For the printed map, you can use Google Maps.

For the GPS unity there is a very easy, cheap and powerful solution: Android+Google Calendar

Each driver needs an Android Device with GPS, for example a Samsung Galaxy 5 (it costs only $100.00 USD) and a google account. In the office the manager plans the delivery schedule for the driver and populate the diver's shared calendar with the package number (for example) and the address. Than the driver follows the schedule, when he clicks the address the Android automatically opens a map pointing to it and with another click you open the GPS navigator which calculates the route on-the-fly.

It has many advantages becouse it's flexible, the driver can stop for launch between any delivery, he can cancel deliveries, he can receive new deliveries, he can call the destination phone with a single click, all in one device.

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nice solution, however I was wondering if there was a navigation unit that will simply allow transfer of a list of waypoints –  Stafford Williams Jun 13 '12 at 0:51
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I'm building a system that needs to get the output of a route optimizer into the hands of a driver

Can the driver not have a device with a route optimizer on it? For example just a simple navigation app? Or is the optimizer more complex than that?

Otherwise you could save the route as KML, and import it to Google Maps. The driver can have Google Earth on an iPhone (for example) and access that data using the "My Maps" option.

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I've updated the question to note that the collection of waypoints per driver comes from a larger collection that has been pre-selected/optimised, so actual optimization includes the selection from that larger collection (and the larger collection will not be on the device). If it's possible create My Maps via the Google Maps API, this may be an option –  Stafford Williams Jun 13 '12 at 1:01
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