Vizzion launching fog and heavy precipitation detection for drivers at ITS World Congress
Vizzion, best known for aggregating the world’s largest network of traffic cameras, is launching a new weather analytics service at the ITS World Congress in Bordeaux, Oct. 5-9. Vizzion’s new service proactively scans a global network of nearly 40,000 live traffic cameras to detect poor visibility conditions such as fog, smoke, or heavy precipitation. The service outputs georeferenced polygons outlining locations of poor visibility for easy integration into traffic management centres and driving-focused apps – allowing drivers to be automatically alerted or re-routed for their safety.
According to AAA, over 20,000 accidents per year in the US involve fog, resulting in about 400 fatalities annually. In fact, a quarter of all car accidents are weather related, causing avoidable injuries, fatalities, and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. Currently, fog is difficult to forecast and expensive to detect. Forecasting fog with visibility less than half a mile is only 30% accurate and most forecasting is focused around airports for aviation purposes rather than for drivers. Several state transportation departments (DOT’s) have invested heavily in hardware along roadsides with costs ranging from $100,000 for detection at a single intersection in West Virginia, up to $12 million for 13 miles of roadway coverage by Caltrans near Fresno. These systems typically communicate to drivers by flashing “Fog Ahead” warning lights or Variable Message Signs (VMS) which are statically positioned and may not allow drivers to take the appropriate action in time.
With access to nearly 40,000 live roadside cameras from 600 cities and a niche corporate background in imaging software, Vizzion is uniquely positioned to offer more efficient, precise, and global visibility data. Over the past ten years, Vizzion has partnered with over 150 different transportation departments to offer live traffic cameras imagery and video through its popular XML Web Service for traffic and weather application developers including INRIX, Comcast, AccuWeather, MapQuest, Be-Mobile, Vizrt, and Mercedes Benz. By developing poor visibility detection algorithms for this licensed DOT imagery instead of installing expensive hardware, Vizzion is able to keep costs low while offering the broadest coverage in 30 countries.