With winter quickly approaching, each new season brings its own set of weather challenges and potentially hazardous driving conditions, which can impact the countless number of commercial fleets on the road keeping the nation’s economic activity in motion. From blizzards to tornadoes and everything in between, fleet managers are faced with the daunting task of monitoring weather year round to keep drivers safe — all while ensuring efficient operations across a vast and complex network of vehicles traversing routes spanning multiple regions.
According to the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, of the roughly 5.8 million vehicle crashes that occur each year, approximately 21% are related to adverse weather, which includes rain, sleet, snow, fog, wind, and blowing debris. What's more, over 70% of U.S. roads are located in regions that receive more than five inches of snow annually.
New Technologies Changing the Weather-Tracking Game
The good news is emerging technologies are playing a major role in helping fleet managers prevent weather-related accidents on the road. Lytx, a global video safety and video telematics provider, is leading the way with its groundbreaking, AI-powered geospatial technology solutions. The innovative, tech-focused company is reshaping how fleets stay safe when severe weather strikes by aggregating critical information gathered from hundreds of thousands of devices from locations across the country. Additionally, Lytx’s solution provides fleet managers with real-time notifications and current road view snapshots to enable faster decision making when every second counts.
Built on the Lytx Vision Platform, the new risk-assessment solution was developed within the Lytx Lab, an idea incubator and a unique space for Lytx engineers and safety experts to collaborate with customers to convey problem discovery and solution testing that addresses market needs.
The Time Is Now for Smarter Fleet Weather Management
Currently, fleet managers have their work cut out for them when it comes to monitoring the weather. Beyond continually tracking hazardous weather across multiple regions, busy fleet managers are juggling day-to-day operations and everything that goes along with it, including optimizing fleet efficiency, staying in tune with customer needs, managing budgets and more.
Today, many fleet managers rely on an entire team of employees to monitor weather 24/7/365 across their network. Utilizing a variety of tools and resources, such as weather maps and national weather reports, gathering, analyzing and reporting this important information can take a significant amount of time. And when quick decisions are critical to drivers’ safety, this time-consuming process is undisputedly less than ideal.
Lytx’s solution changes all of that, eliminating the need for an entire team to track a wide variety of sources around the clock or dispatchers to manually check in with drivers when adverse weather hits.
The Lytx Difference
Here’s how Lytx’s AI-powered geospatial solution is setting the new standard for road condition monitoring for fleets:
Automated Email Alerts
Fleet managers receive Lytx’s automated Weather Hazard Alerts based on geospatial criteria and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather data. The notifications can be filtered by geographic location, time frame, and type of severe weather, including snow, thunderstorm, tornado, hurricane, wildfire, flash flood and others. Once the conditions are met, an email is automatically sent to the fleet manager with a description of the event, an image on the map, how many vehicles may be impacted, and when and where that weather event is forecast to occur.
Real-Time Road Views
Fleet managers can also get an accurate view of what is happening on the road at any given time via hundreds of thousands of cameras across the Lytx network. They provide real-time visibility to quickly confirm what is actually happening on any given route.
This impressive, aggregated combination of resources is transforming how fleet managers and drivers operate, enabling more efficiency and safety — and it is built with current customer needs in mind.
“The solution has been developed iteratively based on interacting with our customers to understand their needs,” said Dan Lambert, Lytx’s senior director of product management. “We interviewed frequent users of our camera application to learn more about their business processes and needs and to better understand how to improve overall fleet weather management. The evolution of Lytx’s Weather Hazard Alerts is based on quantitative and qualitative feedback from our clients, enabling us to fine tune the robust weather-tracking solution we offer today.”
Geospatial Tech and Real-Time Data Bring Big Benefits to Fleet Operators
In the dynamic world of fleet management, one thing is certain: Knowledge is power. And that’s what Lytx is bringing to the table with its new weather tracking solution. Fleet managers are now able to access the most accurate data in real time, empowering them with the knowledge to streamline processes and operations more effectively across their fleets.
Five major benefits of this unique technology include:
1. Faster and More Accurate Decision Making
Severe weather can pop up quickly, so the ability to receive critical weather and road condition updates in real time allows fleet managers to make faster, more accurate decisions with confidence. Rather than relying on a basic blanketed warning across an expansive county or region, managers can provide clear direction with assurance, knowing the choices they make are driven by data and road visuals gathered from highly targeted locations.
2. Improved Safety on the Road
Most importantly, more accurate data and tech-driven decision-making leads to improved safety and less accidents for all on the road, including fleet drivers, passengers, and the general public.
3. Time and Cost Savings
Time is extremely precious when safety is on the line. Instead of spending time gathering weather data from multiple locations, automated weather alerts enable fleet managers to deliver directions to drivers faster than ever, giving them more time to reroute to a safe location.
In addition to saving time, Lytx’s solution helps save on fuel costs, eliminating excessive idling and allowing vehicles to stay on the road until the last responsible minute. Enhanced safety also leads to a significant reduction of costs associated with accidents, such as repairs and litigation fees.
4. Enhanced Customer Service
Fleet managers can use Lytx’s weather data to improve the customer experience by providing more accurate ETAs for deliveries. Drivers are also able to complete more deliveries when road conditions are confirmed safe.
5. Improved Driver Satisfaction
Providing more frequent and accurate driving condition updates can go a long way in elevating job satisfaction and engagement for drivers. Plus, improved communication and accurate weather-related data helps fleet managers eliminate unnecessary hotel stays and extra time away from home for drivers.
Clear Skies Ahead for Fleet Weather Condition Monitoring
From improved decision-making to enhanced safety, benefits abound for fleet managers who leverage the strength of AI-powered geospatial technologies and real-time data delivery.
This new technology is only the beginning for Lytx. The focused team is testing the direct delivery of weather alerts to drivers via in-cab audio, helping them to proactively reroute before approaching an area with dangerous weather conditions.
"As trailblazers in geospatial intelligence, we are excited to present our customers with the power of our extensive data network combined with AI that understands context, enabling us to provide invaluable insights that enhance safety and promote operational excellence," stated Rajesh Rudraradhya, Lytx's chief technology officer. "Through the application of machine vision and artificial intelligence technology to analyze vehicle imagery from vehicles in hazardous conditions, we are actively progressing toward the creation of highly localized weather alerts, advancing our predictive intelligence to anticipate potential risks and proactively prevent accidents."
Lytx’s Weather Hazard Alerts feature is currently available to all fleet managers within the U.S. Lytx network. To learn more, get in touch with Lytx experts.