Trucking companies using technology that predicts adverse weather and road conditions saw a 20% decrease in weather-related accidents, saving approximately $100,000 a year for an average fleet of 300 trucks.
Artificial intelligence (AI) helped produce the road conditions forecast, said Scott Kehler, president and chief scientist of Weatherlogics, a Winnipeg, Man.-based forecasting company that conducted a six-month pilot project on the technology.
Normal weather forecasts predict the temperature and whether it will rain or snow. “They do not say the road will become icy or snow-covered. We take the weather forecast, [and] using AI transform it into a road forecast. Trucking companies can see how the weather is going to affect road conditions,” Kehler told TruckNews.com.
Six Canadian trucking companies – Arnold Bros Transport, Penner International, TransX, Eassons Transportation, Connors Transfer, and C.A.T – totaling about 2,000 trucks participated in the pilot that ran from Fall 2021 to Spring 2022, according to a white paper released by Weatherlogics.
The standalone application can be integrated with any telematics provider and is tailored to transportation users.
Weatherlogics integrated fleets’ GPS tracking into its platform allowing safety managers to warn drivers of 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. This provides rerouting possibilities, or a driver can be told to find a parking spot until it is safe to proceed.
Weather forecasting is provided on an hourly basis, and has current conditions alerts which can be customized. For example, the Confederation Bridge that links 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 that bridge.
Normally, a trucking company will send the weather message through their ELD device – be it a tablet or phone. Weatherlogics allows the driver to have the app on their phone as well so they can set up their own alerts.
Kehler said Weatherlogics has been signing up trucking companies for the subscription-based service. Fees are based on the number of trucks in a fleet.
The company is working with customers to plan the next round of improvements and is adding new features based on customer requests. It also aims to increase automation, making it easier to alert individual drivers about severe road and weather conditions.