The project of Weather on Wheels was initiated during the spring of 2013. A group of students and faculty at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Conrad Blucher Institute set on building a simple app to provide weather predictions graphically along a planned road trip and help make road travel safer. Weather on Wheels is now available on the web and for Android and will soon be available for iPhone. During the next five years the team aims at making Weather on Wheels more fun, more easy to use and more broadly used. The team is looking at partnering to leverage Weather on Wheels with companies offering services for road travelers. Other apps taking advantage of big data to produce easy to access graphical information on a smartphone map may follow.
What do you do?
Weather on Wheels is being developed by students with the assistance of faculty and staff at the Conrad Blucher Institute (CBI) and the Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center both at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
We hope to make long road trips safer for all. Storms, snow, icy roads, heavy rain, dense fog, and severe crosswinds can make for extremely hazardous road conditions. These weather events cause over a million crashes every year resulting in about 6,000 fatalities and half a million injuries (US Department of Transportation).
Weather on Wheels makes it easy and fun to check out weather predictions before you hit the road. Enter your starting location, destination and start time and Weather on Wheels will display weather forecasts along your entire route. Feel free to adjust your start time to find the best possible conditions for your trip.
Weather on Wheels combines forecasts from the US National Weather Service and route information from Google Maps. The concept of Weather on Wheels is based on prior work at the CBI which included the Texas Coastal Winds app and the app Transit Time which was created to plan vessel transit through the Houston/Galveston Ship Channel.
As compared to other available tools, our app is solely focused on the predicted weather along potential routes and should make it easier to plan drives around bad weather.
The creation of this app is also the story of students from TAMUCC's Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Computer Science programs working with Business and graphics arts students from the Innovation Center. For the long term, we are hoping to continue developing and maintaining this app and others through a non-profit funding process. Alternatively TAMUCC is actively working to bring its innovations to the public and the free market. Its Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center is a hub that has already been highly successful at guiding entrepreneurs and projects of all sizes and, who knows, this app could be on the list for future commercialization.
The Weather on Wheels team is looking to leverage the app with partners who could link their services to road travelers through the app.
Weather on Wheels will be a fun, easy to use and indispensable electronic companion to its users, making them safer on the road by providing the most accurate and relevant forecasts along their planed road trips.
- Service to Society: The Weather on Wheels team is committed to create simple and fun to use smartphone apps taking advantage of the available “Big Data” and help everyone make better informed decisions.
- Expertise: The Weather on Wheels team aims to grow and take advantage of a deep understanding of GIS, web technologies, large environmental data sets and knowledge of its customer base.
- Innovation: The Weather on Wheels team is constantly looking for new technologies and sources of data and information to create innovative and creative apps.
- Simplicity: The Weather on Wheels team aims at translating complex data and information into simple and fun to use graphical products on smartphones.
- Collaborative: The Weather on Wheels team partners with likeminded organizations to grow and sustain its development.
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Weather on Wheels is a free app that helps travelers avoid weather-related hazards when driving and is now available to IOS/ Apple users.
Innovation Center creates a space for synergy among clients.