Video safety and telematics provider Lytx recently rolled out hazardous weather alerts for all its fleet customers.
The alerts allow fleet managers to receive notifications based on geospatial criteria and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather data that facilitate real-time decision-making for safer and more efficient driving, according to the technology company. The new artificial intelligence (AI)-powered geospatial technology was built on the Lytx Vision Platform and developed within the Lytx Lab, where engineers and safety experts collaborate with customers to address market needs.
The U.S. Federal Highway Administration reported that 21% of the roughly 5.8 million vehicle crashes yearly are related to adverse weather, including snow, fog, rain, sleet, wind, and blowing debris. Further, over 70% of U.S. roads are located in regions with more than five inches of snow annually.
"Road conditions and the role inclement weather can play on them has a huge impact on drivers and driver safety," Dan Lambert, Lytx's senior director of product management, told FleetOwner. "Knowing the high number of vehicle crashes that occur each year due to poor weather conditions and the high costs associated with those, we saw this as a market need and a way for us to expand our AI-powered geospatial solutions."
Anticipating risks, preventing accidents
Lytx's Weather Hazard Alerts overlay NOAA weather warnings (including thunderstorms, floods, tornados, snow, and more) onto fleet maps, allowing fleet managers to set alerts based on specific geographic, timeframe, and weather criteria and be notified as weather conditions become more severe in that region.
Rajesh Rudraradhya, Lytx's chief technology officer, said the new offering combines the power of Lytx's existing data network with AI that "understands context." This combination enables Lytx to provide its customers with insight to enhance safety.
"Through the application of machine vision and artificial intelligence technology to analyze vehicle imagery from vehicles in hazardous conditions," Rudraradhya said, "we are actively progressing towards the creation of highly localized weather alerts, advancing our predictive intelligence to anticipate potential risks and proactively prevent accidents."
Fleet managers can filter Weather Hazard Alerts by geographic location, time frame, and type of severe weather. Once the filtered conditions are met, an alert 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.
For a more proactive approach, fleet managers can also view current images from the Lytx network, the industry's largest network of cloud-connected devices via the Lytx Vision Platform, to see weather conditions in real-time on specified routes. This first-of-its-kind innovation in the telematics and geospatial intelligence space enables more accurate condition assessment and better decision-making.
"With the power and range of our Lytx network combined with near real-time data via our road-facing cameras, we're able to provide timely and extremely accurate weather information that can help reduce weather-related incidents," Lambert said.
The Weather Hazard Alerts feature is now available to all U.S. Lytx network fleet managers.
"The customer feedback we've received during our development program has allowed us to rapidly surface key insights that ultimately create safer environments for drivers, passengers, and the public," Lambert added.
A separate component, also in testing phases with select clients within Lytx Lab, is Driver Alerts. With Driver Alerts, a driver is notified via in-cab audio about weather alerts as they approach a hazardous area, helping them to proactively re-route before encountering unsafe weather.
"Driver Alerts are currently being tested with select clients, and we will expand the testing to more drivers and fleets next year," Lambert told FleetOwner.
Lytx will discuss the updates at the American Trucking Association 2023 Management Conference & Exhibition in Booth No. 8025 this week. The company is also sponsoring an educational panel, "How Safety Impacts Your Entire Organization," at the conference held October 14-17 in Austin, Texas.
This story first appeared on FleetOwner.com.