Have you ever gotten into a car accident? If so, did you replay what happened in your head afterwards, wondering how you could have avoided the accident? In many instances, there’s little to nothing that you personally could have done to avoid the collision. However, when it comes to weather-related incidents, as a result of recent technological advancements in artificial intelligence, machine learning, predictive analytics and internet of things sensor devices, it’s now possible to drastically mitigate or entirely avoid the risks associated with traveling in adverse conditions.

Here is a brief summary on each of these technologies:

Artificial Intelligence (AI):
is the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence and intervention, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and problem solving.

Machine Learning:
uses statistical techniques to give computer systems the ability to “learn” (e.g., progressively improve performance on a specific task) with data, without being explicitly programmed.

Predictive Analytics:
encompasses a variety of statistical techniques from predictive modelling, machine learning, and data mining that analyze current and historical facts/trends to make predictions about future or otherwise unknown events.

Internet of Things (IoT):
is the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data. The IoT creates opportunities for direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit.

Weather has a material impact on:

  • Vehicle safety: 20% – 30% of all vehicle accidents are attributed to bad weather
  • Electric vehicles: vehicle range can be diminished by 30%+ due to inclement weather
  • Autonomous vehicles: navigation systems are severely compromised due to rain, snow and fog
  • Supply Chain Logistics: Weather, be it a tropical storm, extreme cold, a bomb cyclone, flooding or any other extreme condition, can and will have a direct impact on supply chains; 32.6 billion vehicle hours are wasted annually due to weather and US$2.2 – $3.5 billion dollars are lost each year in the U.S. alone based on weather conditions
  • Insurance: In 2016, weather related natural disasters totaled US$23.8 billion in insured losses in the United States

Use Case – Weather Telematics Inc.: Supply Chain & Logistics in the Trucking Industry

Each year, extreme weather patterns and hazardous road conditions negatively impact fleet logistics, maintenance, productivity and, most importantly, safety. In 2017 alone, the U.S. experienced a historic 16 separate weather and climate disasters – the highest number of events during a calendar year since 2011, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information. Simultaneously, the trucking industry is catching up to its obsolescence and is embracing growing demands from customers through IoT enabled technologies, coupled with AI, machine learning & predictive analytics to solve these issues. This is where Weather Telematics Inc. comes in, to harmonize these two important, but previously uncorrelated industry segments.

Figure 1: Weather Telematics Technology Enables Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Autonomous Navigation in Poor Road Weather Conditions

Source: Weather Telematics

Teletrac Navman, a global software-as-a-service provider that leverages location-based technology for GPS tracking solutions, recently announced DIRECTOR® Weather, a new API integration powered by Weather Telematics. Accessible within the Teletrac Navman DIRECTOR fleet management platform, this tool delivers real-time weather-based road conditions and predictive weather intelligence up to 6-hours in advance, including water, snow and ice, as well as inclement weather leading to visibility, hail, wind, lightning and hydroplaning risks. Dispatchers are advised of delays and safety risks to determine if a driver’s route needs to be adjusted or cancelled altogether. 

Figure 2: Dynamic Routing & Navigation

Source: Weather Telematics Inc.

Figure 3: Weather Telematics Product Features

Source: Weather Telematics Inc.

What differentiates Weather Telematics’ software from other weather applications is that clients are able to convert weather information and see them presented as road conditions visually on their map. For more information on Teletrac Navman DIRECTOR Weather features, visit the DIRECTOR Weather overview.

Looking Ahead to the Future

The manufacturing space has for a long time relied on the same supply chain processes – source raw materials, process and assemble them, and ship the finished goods to a customer. The advent of new technologies is now allowing manufacturers to push engagement beyond the point of sale and throughout the entire useful life of the product. Adoption of next-gen analytics, intelligent maintenance and insight-driven decision making is no longer a question of if, but when. Data science and machine learning are the key technologies when it comes to the processes and products with automatic learning and optimization to be used in the automotive industry of the future. These technologies will make the automotive industry more efficient and enhance its customer focus throughout all its operations and activities, extending from the product and its development process to the customers and their connection to the product.

Internet of Things Inc. (TSX-V: ITT; OTC: INOTF; FRANKFURT: 71T) stands to benefit through its acquisition of Weather Telematics Inc., with the auto industry heading towards autonomous, connected, electric and shared vehicles (ACES). There is growing emphasis with technology as a catalyst for automobile safety. Weather Telematics’ technology keeps passengers safer on the roads, reduces the risks of traffic accidents, and optimize navigational risks. Weather Telematics expects its solutions to be integrated into car models from global automakers in addition to being integrated into the trucking, transportation and logistics industries.