Trucking is a game of variables. And of the many unknowns drivers face daily, the weather can be one of the most difficult to deal with. A new, trucking-focused phone and tablet app from the Weather Company aims to give drivers more information to help them better deal with weather and the delays and disruptions it can cause.
The app has its roots in aviation. The Weather Company is an IBM firm that has been providing accurate weather forecasts and real-time updates for 2.2-billion locations around the world every day, with vital data being refreshed every 15 minutes.
Now, the company is offering what it calls its “hyper-local” forecasting tools to the trucking industry through its new phone app to help drivers get a clearer idea of how weather can impact them as they move along their routes daily.
“Pilots are required to attend a weather briefing before taking off because they need situational awareness of the conditions that await them on their flight,” said John Bosse, offering manager for the Weather Company. “And this is a really simple app that does the same thing for truckers. It’s not an app you use while driving. But it can – within 30 seconds to a minute – give drivers a really strong awareness of the weather they will be dealing with during the first few hours behind the wheel.”
But Bosse says the Weather Company app takes its informational aspect further, providing drivers with critical information about weather-related conditions they will be dealing with as well. “This app can help alert drivers to routes backed up by accidents,” he noted. “It can also relay information such as warnings for ice, snow, puddles or just wet pavement after a rainstorm has passed. It doesn’t just deliver a forecast. It alerts drivers to areas of peril where their vehicle could be in danger during their drive.”
The result, Bosse said, is that trucking companies are able to adjust their routing to save time, fuel, and better protect their cargo. Municipal DOTs also have a better idea as to whether they need to close roads earlier as potential storms approach.
The Weather Company app is currently available as an IOS-based system available for Apple smartphones and tablets. An Android system will be introduced later this year.