“Digital co-driver” pilot project for lorries in Germany

Special navigation devices make large and heavy goods transport easier.

Transporting heavy or large loads is complicated. Lorry drivers are only allowed to drive on special roads, sometimes have to avoid bridges due to their weight and travel with an escort vehicle. This requires many authorisations from the authorities and someone to keep track of the prescribed route. Sometimes an accompanying person has to sit in the lorry and give instructions.

Digital co-driver permitted in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Modern technology can help and take over the job of a human companion. Baden-Württemberg is testing this on the roads in the state and is allowing “digital co-drivers” – comparable to navigation devices – until the end of 2025. The “digital co-driver” can be used on all roads in Baden-Württemberg – except on motorways.

The “digital co-driver” works like a navigation device. However, there are differences to the classic sat nav. The digital co-driver monitors the route in real time. It also passes on information to the lorry drivers. This includes important conditions, restrictions and driving instructions. This makes high-capacity and heavy goods transport safer, more reliable and gentler on the road. There is no longer any need to leaf through the extensive authorisation notice.

According to the BDMV, this is how things will continue after the pilot project

Following the completion of an ongoing study on digital co-drivers by the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt), the federal government will soon present a proposal for permanent and regular authorisation in consultation with the federal states of Germany.