Imagine if vehicles, public transit and infrastructure could talk to each other to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow. It may sound like science fiction but TEC client and TELUS T-Squared Accelerator participant, iSmartWays, is making it a reality with the recent release of its Connected Vehicle System (CV) products into Canadian and Chinese markets at the ITS World Congress in Montreal.
The company aims to leverage anonymous data from vehicles and roadside infrastructure to help transform Edmonton into a “smart city”— a city that combines technology, innovation and collaboration to make life easier for its citizens.
iSmartWays’ CV technology works in two ways:
1. Vehicles can communicate with each other through the internet.
Users will receive instant updates on road conditions, estimated trip times (and more) without needing to install an app. Using Internet of Vehicles (IoV) technology, CV bundles and analyzes data right in the vehicle — called edge computing—allowing drivers to make quick decisions.
2. It creates an archive of long-term data to be used by municipalities for planning purposes.
These features will significantly impact the way that planners design our city. The same data that will provide citizens with live updates will be bundled with other anonymized data to help transportation planning groups paint a bigger, more long-term picture of the ways we move around our cities. This data will allow infrastructure planners to accurately track peak traffic times and road use and in turn, make informed decisions about future projects in a way that current methods like surveys don’t allow.
All of these innovations will become increasingly important as transportation becomes more automated and Edmonton is the ideal location to roll them out. Last fall, the Government of Alberta announced its participation in the ACTIVE-AURORA project—the first connected vehicle test bed network in Canada. The test bed network, a collaboration between various levels of government, academic institutions and private partners, consists of six on-road and in-lab locations equipped and linked with CV technology.
iSmartWays’ technology also fits well with the City of Edmonton’s Smart City Strategy, which emphasizes the role of data and analytics in maintaining an exceptional quality of life for citizens. Between these and other innovations in the province, the ways we get around are about to get a whole lot smarter.
About the researcher: University of Alberta Transportation Engineering Professor Dr. Tony Qiu, founder of intelligent transportation company, iSmartWays, has spent the past 20 years developing the know-how to quickly process data from artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies.
About the TELUS T-Squared Accelerator program: iSmartWays is part of the TELUS T-Squared Accelerator program, which helps advance early-stage information and communications technology companies. Program offerings include meetings with a TEC Executive in Residence, access to TELUS experts, seed funding opportunities, market research support and more. Visit tecedmonton.com/t-squared-accelerator/ to find out if you are eligible.