Embracing permit automation

By Hannah Sundermeyer23 February 2022

Louis Juneau, president of NOVA Permits & Pilot Cars, discusses the latest developments in the permitting industry.

In the January issue of ACT, SC&RA’s Chris Smith broke down some of the issues surrounding the pilot car industry, and the latest proposals behind certification. Going hand-in-hand, the permitting industry is also seeking a more automated, streamlined and country-wide approach for OS/OW permitting.

Quebec-based NOVA Permits & Pilot Cars assists customers with obtaining U.S. and Canadian temporary trucking permits, as well as permanent licensing, pilot cars and fuel card/management services.

Louis Juneau, president of NOVA Permits & Pilot Cars, is an active member of SC&RA and is involved with many permitting initiatives and advocacy efforts. Quebec-based NOVA Permits & Pilot Cars assists customers with obtaining U.S. and Canadian temporary trucking permits, as well as permanent licensing, pilot cars and fuel card/management services. I spoke with Juneau regarding the latest developments in the permitting industry.

What can we expect to see in the coming years for OS/OW permitting?

I don’t know what we can expect but I certainly wish for more automation. I know we have been redundant about it, but it needs to happen. Some of the rebuttal is of lack of money, but as I have said before, carriers complain about turnaround time and efficiency, not the permit cost.

Are you seeing any emerging trends in the permitting world?

Absolutely. I invite all jurisdictions in North America to have a look at the recent system Illinois made available to carriers with the assistance of ProMiles Software Development. (See the related article on page 25.) Carriers now have the option of uploading the permitted route in their GPS and benefit from an audible turn-by-turn feature. This new system also warns the permittee if he unwittingly ventures off route. There are also other upcoming technologies such as the already known Lidar systems for safe navigation.

As far as automated permitting and harmonization, how do you describe the current status?

Our industry, with the assistance of SC&RA and dedicated players, has made significant [strides], but there is still room for improvement. We still have to deal with jurisdictions that have not yet embraced any types of automation and are still working with faxed in applications.

What are the benefits associated with the success of the UPT2022 initiative?

The benefits would be reducing the maze-like rules and regulations as well as bringing up to date some these rules and regulations.

What are the biggest challenges faced by the industry today?

I believe one of the main challenges will be employment. Regardless of if you are operating a trucking company, a pilot car company or a crane company, we are, and will still be facing, the lack of available employees. We won’t have a choice but to turn toward new technologies to compensate.

ProMiles app available in Illinois
The free app is available for iOS and Android devices.

Made live December 1, 2021, the ProMiles Permit Route Guidance app will now include the state of Illinois. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the app will provide drivers with a free and safe verbal route guidance option for Routine OS/OW Permits or Route Authorizations issued through the ITAP system. Designed to help drivers follow complicated routes, the OS/OW Permitting and Routing System creates a route for a permit and then obtains a list of road segments that describe the route.

With the simple scan of a QR code or the entry of a permit number, the app enables drivers to listen to verbal directions for an individualized OS/OW route. Unlike a GPS program, directions are personalized to the specific load and route.

“Illinois is the country’s freight hub, with the safe and efficient movement of goods critical to our economy and the nation’s supply chain,” said Omer Osman, Illinois Transportation Secretary. “By helping truck drivers reach their destinations faster, with more ease and fewer distractions, we are providing a valuable service to all motorists and the general public alike.”

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