IoT weather data transforms insurance and airline industries

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/peshkov)

The latest developments weather prediction, driven by the Internet of Things and cognitive computing, are already having a transformative effect on a number of industries including insurance and airlines. The Weather Company’s CEO David Kenny said that sources of data range from satellites in space, airlines providing wind speed and oscillation data, drones and weather balloons, smartphones providing barometric pressure data, in addition to buildings.

Kenny said: “[The company] ingests about 5GB of data per second, or one and a half petabytes of data per year, to understand the weather. We are data hoarders, and we continue to find as much data as we can around the atmosphere and the oceans that feed it in order to better predict what it’s going to do next.”

The Weather Company has been able to cut down in-flight turbulence for commercial aircraft by around 50%. Pilots are alerted about turbulence in real-time and before the event takes place. Additionally, airlines have saved on fuel costs and cut down on time of flying by 45 minutes with predictability provided for routes.

Insurance has also benefited from the strides made in weather prediction. For instance, cars can be moved to a shelter when hail forecast notifications are provided. The technology facilitates efficient management of risk and improves claim accuracy. Retailers are also making use of weather data to draw lines between product sales patterns and the weather as the technology aids planning on product promotion.

Kenny held that the company was able to bring about two key improvements to dealing with storms and tornadoes, driven by IoT and cognitive computing. The first area is in the area of accurate prediction that helps the likes of humanitarian organisations like the Red Cross become more efficient in resource allocation. The second area concerns the ability to ensure communities gain an extra 30 to 40 minutes of preparation time, on average, as the technology allows the company to issue a ‘Warn on Forecast’ before the tornado is seen.

Finally, Kenny said: “In a lot of cases, people don’t know how to respond, and when we work with governments, we’re finding they don’t always know how to communicate in a way such that their citizens know what to do. The more we can get to individual decisions for every person, pilot, store manager, brand manager, insurance underwriter, Red Cross volunteer, or government forecaster, the better off we’ll be. I would say in every single application, data received and data sent can help – with cognitive computing – the interactions between humans and computers in ways that help everybody lead safer, more productive, more effective and more rewarding lives.”

What industries do you think IoT will have the biggest impact on? Let us know in the comments. in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their IoT use-cases? Attend the IoT Tech Expo World Series events with upcoming shows in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam to learn more.

The show is co-located with the AI & Big Data Expo, Cyber Security & Cloud Expo and Blockchain Expo so you can explore the entire ecosystem in one place.

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