Weather and environmental measurement specialist Vaisala has unveiled its new Xweather environment forecast and observation service, leveraging its holistic range of sensor technology to provide critical and actionable insights for extreme weather.
Created for businesses and developers whose products, operations or customers depend on high-quality weather and environmental information, Xweather provides a suite of observation-enhanced SaaS (Solution as a Service) and DaaS (Data as a Service) services that provide meteorological information ranging from road conditions and air quality to heat wave detection and lightning strikes.
Samuli Hänninen, global head of Xweather at Vaisala, said, “Now it’s time to accelerate our efforts with actionable data that can help us predict the future. Humans have fought challenges from war and hunger to pandemics for millennia. Now we are facing a threat like no other: climate change and its impact on local conditions. Climate change can force people from their homes, accelerate biodiversity loss and ignite conflicts over resources. But if a challenge can be measured and quantified, it can be solved. By giving access to this comprehensive data, we want to provide tools for everyone to act and solve the environment.”
For many companies and organizations, a primary source of error in weather and environment forecasting has been the inability to properly observe and generate data about the environment in real time from a hyperlocal place that is relevant for their business.
Xweather brings a new level of accuracy to forecasting by harnessing data from several sources, including intelligent sensors. It combines massive amounts of environmental data in real time and delivers it via the cloud for use by the latest artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies.
The service comprises a wide portfolio of data services and solutions with multiple industry-leading applications for sectors such as renewable energy and automotive, or for managing the threat posed by wildfires.
“We want to inspire and enable organizations around the world to take on the challenges that we face today and tomorrow. Instead of feeling anxiety over climate change, we want to equip people with data and tools to take action,” said Hänninen.
Scott Mackaro, head of insights and innovation, weather and environment at Vaisala, added, “Eight of the worst wildfire years on record happened in the last decade. Droughts, such as those recently experienced in California, Colorado, Italy and Spain, are increasing and further intensifying wildfires due to the arid ground, bushes and trees. For wildfires sparked by lightning, Xweather can detect where and when lightning strikes happen – and will tell you immediately. With this knowledge, the right infrastructure and rescue services can be mobilized quickly to manage a potential fire and protect homes and lives.”
Serving customers such as Bosch, BMW, Volkswagen Group, Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz AG, Xweather delivers road and weather data to enhance driver safety and passenger comfort. With the continuing increase of cars with advanced driver assistance technologies, the importance of highly accurate data is poised to increase.
“As advanced as these cars are, they still have to contend with the realities of weather. With Xweather, we can provide information on upcoming snow and rain directly to the car, warning about ice and slippery road surfaces,” said Mackaro.
Renewable energy is an increasingly important source of electricity. To ensure that it continues to grow its share as an energy source, energy grid operators and energy companies need accurate predictions on the availability of wind and solar power.
“Renewables are the key to a future of zero emissions and reversing the impacts of human-induced climate change,” added Mackaro. “Weather is a critically important element in the efficiency and use of renewable sources. With data from every minute, hour or day, we can design technology that makes the right energy choices for increasingly specific times and locations.”