Trucking companies that use technology to predict adverse weather and road conditions have seen a 20% reduction in weather-related accidents, saving about $100,000 per year for an average of 300 trucks.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has helped predict road conditions, says Scott Kehler, president and chief scientist of Weatherlogics, a weather forecasting company in Winnipeg, Manitoba, which has been piloting the technology for six months.
A normal weather forecast predicts the temperature and whether it will rain or snow. “They don’t say whether the road will be icy or snow-covered. we get the weather forecast, [et] Thanks to artificial intelligence, we turn them into road predictions. Trucking companies can see how the weather will affect road conditions,” Keller told our sister publication TruckNews.com.
Six Canadian trucking companies — Arnold Bros Transport, Penner International, TransX, Eassons Transportation, Connors Transfer and CAT — have committed a total of about 2,000 trucks to the pilot project, which ran from fall 2021 to spring 2022, according to a white paper published by Weatherlogics.
The stand-alone application can be integrated with any telematics service provider and is suitable for users in the transport industry.
Weatherlogics has integrated GPS fleet tracking into its platform, allowing safety managers to alert drivers to poor road and weather conditions.
Users can view North American roads on a map and see how a weather event will affect a particular road. The route can then be rerouted or the driver can be told to look for parking until it is safe to continue.
Weather forecasts are provided hourly, and alerts about current conditions can be customized. For example, the Confederation Bridge, which connects New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, is sometimes closed due to high winds. Users can set an alert that will be triggered when the wind speed reaches the criteria for closing a given bridge.
Usually, the trucking company sends the weather report through their electronic logging device – whether it’s a tablet or a phone. Weatherlogics allows the driver to have an app on their phone as well so they can set their own alerts.
Mr. Keller adds that trucking companies have begun signing up for the subscription service offered by Weatherlogics. Fees are based on the number of trucks in the fleet.
The company works with its customers to plan the next round of improvements and adds new features based on customer requests. It also aims to increase automation, making it easier to warn individual drivers about difficult roads and weather conditions.