Ministry teams up with local tech talent to deliver on transportation safety

2 min read
January 31, 2018

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and Innovate BC teamed up on an Internet of Things Challenge, which invited local tech companies to develop innovative solutions to enhance public safety and transportation efficiency.

The partnership presented a series of challenges to B.C.’s tech community at the 2017 #BCTECHSummit. This resulted in 40 proposals, reflecting a variety of solutions. A total of $50,000 was awarded to five local finalist companies to fund the development of their proofs of concept, in three challenge categories – Analytics, Highway Cameras and Smart Gateway. The results will be showcased at the 2018 #BCTECHSummit in Vancouver, May 14-16.

“Every day, we rely on thousands of sensors and cameras throughout the province to provide real-time information, so people can plan their travel safely, no matter the conditions,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “It’s exciting to engage with local tech talent to find out-of-the-box ideas that will improve traffic flow, relay road conditions and keep our highways well maintained. I’m looking forward to seeing the proofs of concept from the five finalists that could help the ministry provide better service to the driving public.”

Analytics Challenge Finalists

  • Vancouver-based company Eight Solutions will use its analytics platform to trial a central user-friendly dashboard to view data and take action in real time. Large volumes of data will be collected from several different points to highlight current and developing issues on B.C.’s roads, so the ministry can respond quickly.
  • UrbanLogiq, from Vancouver, will use its platform to leverage data from multiple business areas to provide analytical insights that were not previously available. This technology has the potential to identify how road conditions impact traffic flow, how traffic impacts the structural health of bridges, and how to predict avalanche locations.

Highway Cameras Challenge Finalists

  • Vancouver’s VectorBlox Computing specializes in technology that can process video feeds in real time to automatically identify objects, such as obstructions on the road. By processing the video feed in real time, action can be taken quickly to alert the travelling public through an automated notification system.
  • Victoria-based Viion Systems’ traffic cameras will use 3D technology to process video feeds in real time, in order to identify objects and collect data from nearby sensors. By combining these functions, the camera can immediately send information to the ministry that can be used for better road maintenance and allow for a quicker response to events.

Smart Gateway Challenge Finalist

  • Cypress Solutions, from Burnaby, specializes in smart gateway technology that can collect sensor readings from multiple collection points, process the data and send it to the ministry through one feed. This can provide more thorough and reliable information about roads in remote areas of the province, leading to better maintenance response times.

Interested in learning more about Innovate BC's challenge process? Click here.

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