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Weather on Wheels App New and Improved Just in Time for Busy Summer Travel

June 28, 2016

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A new, more user-friendly version of the Weather on Wheels app for Android devices and for Web access is now available for use during summer road travel. An iOS version for Apple devices will follow shortly.

Developed by the Conrad Blucher Institute (CBI) for Surveying and Science at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, the Weather on Wheels app helps travelers plan around dangerous weather conditions with the goal of decreasing the number of weather-related accidents on our highways. The app aims to make long road trips safer for everyone. Storms, snow, icy roads, heavy rain, dense fog, and severe crosswinds can make for extremely hazardous road conditions. These weather events cause more than 1 million crashes every year resulting in about 6,000 fatalities and 500,000 injuries, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Weather on Wheels combines forecasts from the U.S. National Weather Service and route information from Google.

As compared to other available tools, the Weather on Wheels app is solely focused on predicted weather along potential routes and makes it easier to plan drives around bad weather.

Several of the new app features and fixes were prompted by user feedback.

These include:  

  • Options to display the predicted travel time, chances of rain, forecasted winds or air temperature within the icons.
  • Updated icons displaying more weather conditions.
  • A pull-down legend describing the weather icons.
  • An improved calendar to pick the date of the road trip

“We’ve reviewed all user comments and are really excited to implement these new updates to better help them in planning the safest routes during their road trips,” said Dr. Philippe Tissot, Associate Director and Research Scientist at the CBI. “Our goal has always been to keep this graphics-based app very easy for our users to navigate.”

To begin your route, enter a starting location, destination, and start time and Weather on Wheels will display weather forecasts along your entire route. If a bad storm is predicted on your route, the app will let you know if the weather conditions improve by changing your start time and/or route.  Starting times may be adjusted to find the best possible conditions for your trip.

Since its official launch at the end of 2015, about 20,000 drivers in all 48 states have tested Weather on Wheels. The iOS version of the app is presently the most popular with about 9,500 users with a 4+ rating while the Android version is close behind with more than 8,800 downloads and a rating of 4.3 on Google Play.

Drivers appreciate the new features and shared the following comments on iTunes and Google Play:

The app has been used the most in its home state of Texas (25 percent of sessions) followed by California, Florida and Illinois. The city with the largest number of users is presently Houston (7.6 percent of sessions) followed by Corpus Christi, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York all with between 1.8 percent and 3.5 percent of sessions.

Weather on Wheels was developed by students with the assistance of faculty and staff at the CBI and the Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center, both at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Students in the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Computer Science programs worked together with business and graphic arts students from the Innovation Center. The students worked directly in all phases of the app’s development, including research, technical application, branding and marketing.

For more information, go to weatheronwheelshome.com. The app may be downloaded from the App Store (iOS) at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/weather-on-wheels/id1016925023?mt=8; or from the Google Play (Android) Store at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cbiapps.weatheronwheels.