Tomorrow's Transportation


Instead of tearing up roads and building big capital projects, transportation officials in municipalities are looking to leverage Big Data to make smarter, better decisions about our transportation infrastructure. It also means cities need make better use of the data they do capture as part of the course of business. It's a business challenge three Waterloo companies with a direct Accelerator Centre connection are looking to solve through a newly formed partnership.

"Today cities have very little data on the performance of their transportation infrastructure, which means they are really flying blind when it comes to making investment decisions" explains Kurtis McBride, CEO and founder of Miovision, a Waterloo-based global leader in traffic systems technology. "When a city starts a new transportation project, they often map and model the traffic for that particular area, but after the project is complete the data model is thrown out and/or becomes obsolete. Urban planners and transportation leaders need living breathing visualizations of their cities to address short term problems and better plan for the future."

Seeing an opportunities to help cities become smarter, better transportation planners, Miovision , an Accelerator Centre graduate, has partnered up with current Accelerator Centre startups Brisk Synergies and Ecopia to develop a solution that allows a city to use data capture, visualization and analytics to create a real-time image of itself. The three companies are now actively working on multiple pilot projects for North American cities. "This is truly a case of the sum being greater than its individual parts," says Charles Chung, CEO of Brisk Synergies, a boutique firm specializing in traffic analytics. "It's one thing to talk about how our respective technologies could work together in theory," says Yuanming Shu, CEO and co-founder of Ecopia . "It's quite another thing to theory into practice for a real city."

Technologies from the three companies come together to form an intelligent transportation system. Miovision's Spectrum wirelessly connects into traffic cabinets located within a city's intersections, capturing and connecting intersection traffic data to the cloud. Using WiFi pinging between different locations, Spectrum devices create unique anonymous identifiers for different vehicles. That data is fed into Brisk Synergy's analytic engine to determine the real-time flow of traffic. Then Ecopia generates highly detailed maps from satellite imagery allowing cities to simulate and visualize traffic flow scenarios.

"The partnership between the three companies speaks to the strength of Waterloo Region's ecosystem," says Paul Salvini, CEO of the Waterloo Accelerator Centre. "Right within this community, we have some of the best talent in the world taking on the most complex and challenging problems. The fact Miovision has been able to collaborate with two of our current startups and fellow University of Waterloo alums to realize its vision for an intelligent transportation system is truly fantastic. "