Predictive Weather Advanced Constraint Add-On (Weather Map Layers)
Weather conditions can significantly affect your business operations in a number of ways. When it is raining or snowing outside, your vehicles have to drive slower and your employees have to walk slower which can delay deliveries and leave your customers dissatisfied. Moreover, under certain weather conditions, your employees have to wear bulky clothing and thick gloves for staying warm which can make loading and unloading items take longer and increase the time it takes to service each customer. Checking different weather forecasts every time you want to plan a route seems time inefficient and not very reliable. Route4Me’s Predictive Weather Advanced Constraint automatically gathers weather data from multiple sources and notifies you about poor or dangerous weather conditions in the area where you are planning routes so that you can set up weather-related slowdown for travel and service times.
To plan routes with the Predictive Weather Constraint, first, go to “Plan New Route” from the navigation menu.
After that, specify the route parameters to your preference and then click on the “Create Route and Proceed to Add Addresses” button.
In the “Verify Addresses on Map” window, you can view all imported and processed addresses on the map, as well as check their geocoding statuses. Green colored dots indicate that the corresponding addresses were successfully geocoded with “High Confidence.” Addresses that have yellow colored dots next to them should be reviewed and fixed accordingly. Click on the “Finish Import” button to plan the route.
After that, Route4Me checks multiple sources with different weather forecasts for the area in which you are planning the route. If the weather conditions in the corresponding area are expected to be poor or dangerous, you are automatically prompted with the summary of the forecast where you can adjust the slowdown for the total travel/driving time, as well as for the total service time of the route.
To adjust the “Service Time Slowdown,” select the preferred slowdown percentage from the corresponding drop-down list. Defining the “Service Time Slowdown” increases the service time of each stop on the route by the selected percentage.
To adjust the “Travel Time Slowdown,” select the preferred slowdown percentage from the corresponding drop-down list. Defining the “Travel Time Slowdown” increases the total travel/driving time of the route by the selected percentage.
To apply the selected slowdown constraints, click on the “Apply Changes” button. If you do not want to apply the weather slowdown, click on the “Skip/Continue” button.
Once the route is planned, it is optimized and then opened in the Route Editor where you can modify it, as well as added to the Routes List with all your routes. After that, you can view how the applied “Travel Time Slowdown” and “Service Time Slowdown” affected the total travel and service times of the route. To learn how to adjust the Summary Table to display all time-related data, visit this page.
Weather Map Layers
Besides the weather-related slowdown, Route4Me’s Predictive Weather Constraint also provides a variety of weather map layers that display the current weather conditions on the map. Weather map layers allow you to check multiple parameters of the current weather conditions in real time so that you can send the right vehicles to the right areas, properly equip your fleet and employees, etc.
To enable weather map layers, first, go to “Map Settings” and then check the “Current Weather” box. The Current Weather layer displays the current air temperature on the map.
The Radar layer displays the overlay that differentiates between rain, snow, and a rain/snow/ice mix, where the color of the shade indicates intensity.
The Satellite layer displays a visible satellite overlay of clouds over the corresponding area on the map.
The Winds layer displays the current wind speed as a gradient.
The Storm Reports layer displays severe storm reports as dots on the map. The four types of different colored dots indicate four levels of increasing severity, heavy rain, hail, severe thunderstorms, and possible tornados.
The Snow Depth layer displays the current snow depth observed on the ground (as a gradient).
The Temperature layer displays the current temperature as a gradient.