In-Car Weather Forecasting Moves ForwardPosted on February 9th, 2015
New technologies connect the driver with the road
By Nina Russin
It won’t be long before your car can warn you about an ice patch on the road ahead. Whereas today’s real-time weather alerts give drivers general information about climate conditions, emerging technologies will provide real-time road and atmospheric conditions in the driver’s exact location.
The new advances are made possible by connected car technology that includes a GPS indicator for the vehicle. Baron Services currently provides weather data for news broadcasts. The company that has been in business for a quarter of a century also builds radar systems for defense contractors and the U.S. National Weather Service.
Chris Carr, a meteorologist and director of business development for Baron Services, explains that the company acquires raw data that it applies to a global map divided into one-kilometer squares. Combining this with ground surface information about urbanization, geography and the type of road surface, scientists can predict how weather will impact the road surface in real time. They can also predict how fog, for example, can settle into a valley and cause visibility problems or how a wind tunnel through the mountains can make high-profile vehicles such as semi trucks unstable.
Baron Services provides the roadway weather data and current weather alerting that Sirius XM Satellite radio customers
receive in their car’s navigation systems. The next step is to incorporate the direct feedback from the automobile and factor that into the information provided to the driver.
“We can tell a driver whether the road ahead is wet or flooded, has patchy ice or is ice covered, is snow covered or covered with the type of heavy snow requiring chains,” said Carr.
For readers who venture out in adverse weather to pursue passions such as white river kayaking, skiing and snowboarding, this technology will be quite a boon. And according to Carr, we might see similar technology in personal GPS systems in the not-so-distant future. Want to know whether that rainstorm is going to cross your path on your cycling route’ Your smart phone might soon have the answer.
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