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Technology expected to help drivers in Arizona dust storms

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Technology expected to help drivers in arizona dust storms
In this August 10, 2016, file photo, lightning streaks across the night sky as a monsoon storm sweeps through the Phoenix metro area. Arizona's monsoon season is quickly approaching. ADOT plans to begin installing the new dust-detection system early this fall 2019. (Associated Press: ROSS D. FRANKLIN)

PHOENIX  — With Arizona’s monsoon season quickly approaching, state transportation planners intend to begin installing a new long-range dust-detection system on Interstate 10.

The Arizona Department of Transportation is set to use a $54 million federal grant to widen sections of I-10 and implement a project that would reduce dust-related crashes, the Arizona Republic reported .

“We are taking an aggressive approach,” said Tom Herrmann, a spokesman for the state transportation department, told the newspaper. “We recognize we can’t necessarily control the dust, but we can predict it better.”

The project includes long-range radar set near Picacho Peak that can detect approaching dust storms from 50 miles (80 kilometers) away.

Short-range radar will be used to detect dust particles every mile between areas where most dust-related I-10 crashes occur.

Also planned are electronic billboards to display warning messages readable in both traffic directions and variable speed limit signs where speed can drop as low as 35 mph based on reduced visibility.

“The dust comes upon you very quickly and you go from seeing half a mile in front of you to barely seeing a car in front of you,” Hermann said.

More advanced warning of dust conditions can reduce the likelihood of a crash and if a crash does happen, the impact can be less severe if drivers are going 35 mph rather than 75 mph, Hermann said.

The department recorded 85 dust-related crashes along the busy freeway from Phoenix to Tucson from 2010 to 2015.

According to a 2016 report by the National Weather Service and the University of Arizona, dust is the third-leading cause of weather-related deaths behind extreme temperatures and flash floods.

Dust storms are common during Arizona’s mid-June to end-of-September monsoon season.

Although there are still challenges in predicting when a dust storm will form, technology can help relay safety messages quickly when it does happen.

Hermann said the agency plans to finish widening a 4-mile (6.4-kilometer) section of I-10 by the end of this summer before the dust-detection project begins.

Hermann said the system will be the first of its kind in Arizona.

More than a decade ago, a system was installed along I-10 from Benson to New Mexico that used wind speed to set off flashing signs that alerted drivers to the possibility of blowing dust.

 

 

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Greenlots, Volvo Trucks partner for installation of chargers for LIGHTS project

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charging an electric truck
Greenlots installed two fully operational 50kW DC fast chargers in Fontana, California, and has plans to install an additional 150kW DC fast charger in the next month. (Courtesy: Greenlots)

LOS ANGELES — Greenlots, a member of the Shell Group and a leader in electric vehicle (EV) charging and energy management solutions, has announced the installation of charging infrastructure for a fleet of electrified commercial trucks as part of its ongoing partnership with Volvo Trucks. The heavy-duty fleet charging stations are the first of four installations by Greenlots at warehouses across southern California.

“Heavy-duty fleets have unique charging characteristics and needs,” said Harmeet Singh, chief technology officer at Greenlots. “Greenlots’ SKY platform is built for scale and designed to deliver a charging solution that meets Volvo Trucks’ electric fleet’s unique requirements and is optimized for cost and power. The open standards-based charging approach built into Greenlots’ platform enables Volvo to future-proof its investments in the charging infrastructure.”

On Tuesday, February 11, Volvo hosted an invite-only innovation showcase at TEC Equipment Warehouse based in Fontana, California, to share information about its multi-year Volvo Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions (LIGHTS) project, which aims to transform the way goods are transported. This public-private statewide initiative, comprised of partners including Greenlots, puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen the economy and improve public health and the environment, particularly in disadvantaged communities.

“We’re excited to be part of the development of a battery-electric transport eco-system along with our Volvo LIGHTS project partners,” said Peter Voorhoeve, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “This project is unique in the sense of its scope, and that it takes into account the entire system, with the charging infrastructure provided by Greenlots being one of the key components to this transport solution.”

Greenlots installed two fully operational 50kW DC fast chargers at the Fontana site and has plans to install an additional 150kW DC fast charger in the next month. All of the charging equipment for the project is connected to Greenlots’ SKY EV Charging Network Software, which enables seamless management of Volvo’s fleet and charging stations while balancing grid demand. Greenlots’ range of software solutions safely and cost-effectively balances the power demands of electric fleet vehicles, warehouse facilities, and the electric grid. Its software provides fleet owners the lowest total cost of ownership by managing energy usage to prevent high utility bills, while also supplying grid operators with the tools needed to safely integrate EVs and renewables onto the grid. For more information, visit greenlots.com/about/newsroom.

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Transflo adds Surfsight video technology to its platform of freight solutions

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Transflo adds surfsight vehicle video technology to its platform of freight solutions
Surfsight provides real-time video visibility and insight into fleet performance and challenging situations on the road, helping fleets reduce risk and insurance claims while improving safety and productivity. (Courtesy: Transflo)

TAMPA, Florida — Transflo, a mobile, telematics and business process automation provider to the transportation industry, has announced the AI-12 Dual Facing Dashcam solution as part of its Mobile+ ecosystem of digital and telematics solutions for truck fleets and drivers.

Surfsight provides real-time video visibility and insight into fleet performance and challenging situations on the road, helping fleets reduce risk and insurance claims while improving safety and productivity.

Integrated with Transflo’s telematics platform, the cloud-connected Surfsight dashcam uses front-facing and cabin-facing cameras. The camera uses built-in artificial intelligence to detect hazards on the road, and infrared to recognize driver distractions in the vehicle. The driver is automatically alerted.

Surfsight streams from vehicles to secure cloud-based servers, providing fleet managers with continuous access to video. Managers can review video of groups or individual vehicles via a customized, secure, online dashboard using a web browser running on any type of device. Surfsight also provides access to on-demand video retrieval and review on the company’s cloud platform.

Surfsight dashcams cost just $200 and monthly subscriptions start at $25 per month as part of Transflo Bundle+, which extends the capabilities of the Transflo Mobile+ platform.

“Increasingly, video is an important tool for improving safety and operational visibility,” said Doug Schrier, vice president of product and innovation for Transflo. “The Transflo Bundle+ platform is the ideal way to incorporate vehicle video and telematics into your digital workflow.”

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Interesting demo on fuel savings with nanotechnology

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Interesting demo on fuel savings with nanotechnology

Niki talks with Andy and Doug of TK7 Products about an amazing fuel additive made from nanotechnology that can save your pocket book an exponential amount.

Courtesy: The Truck Boss Show

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