POLICYSMART #12 Jason Goldman of ITS America on the Legislative and Regulatory Landscape of ITS

Jason Goldman, VP for External Affairs and Stakeholder Engagement at Intelligent Transportation Systems of America (ITS America), joins Regina Hopper to talk about the legislative and regulatory landscape of ITS. He explains why ITS is stuck both in terms of legislation and regulation, the issues with funding for President Trump’s infrastructure bill, how this year’s electoral politics plays into the world of ITS, and more.

It Is Time To Get Our Hands Dirty

We heard it at INTERSECT17 and we get it.

A world away from some very good competitors, my hands and toes, the CEO’s hands and toes, have felt the widespread numb of an installation in sub-zero, 5 a.m. Middle-Michigan cold. My shoulders and neck know the relentless pounding of a mid-day July sun in Arizona while mounting the world’s original fisheye camera and I have sweated out in the field while running diagnostics in Texas where the heat was only part of the reason I was sweating like a Congressman in Church. In all GRIDSMART Transparency, I have winced like the nerdy kid in a 5th grade science class when the draft from a speeding tractor trailer provided ample lift to a fully extended bucket over the intersection and then quickly rechecked my harness security. At GRIDSMART, we are you (except maybe for the wincing part).

We understand the need for more field support like the journeymen taking two Tylenol just before his knees start to ache. Like popping off the familiar red cap, we are responding. I signed off on the 2018 budget and GRIDSMART is investing more than $1 million in growing field support in the first quarter of 2018. There is a new old face in the field every week.

Not just anyone is right for y’all. Not a job for college boys or the love-to-talk-the-fight inclined. You demand a GRIDSMART man, the man who gets it done, and you’re getting it. Rusty Russell, with a decade of GRIDSMART installation experience, has joined us in the Southwest. Chris Robson from MDOT has Big Ten Country. Y’all have met SWAT Team Leader Carl Shaw, who ran Field Engineering for 2 decades for a multi-billion-dollar company all around the country. We have new hires in Colorado and in SEC country to be announced soon, too.

In a partnership with NEXT Education, you will see training in a whole new way and if you have not looked yet, check out our Support Solutions for 90 second videos for everything from “Updating and Downloading Software” to “Putting the GS2 on your Network.” Friends, we are just getting started. I promise.

Our passion is to make you more efficient in everything you do. Because, we have the same scraped knuckles, 4 seasons felt in the same day of being outside, sore backs, too much to do, pride-of-doing-it-with-the-right-heart that you do. We feel you, brother, and GRIDSMART will never stop working for you. Starting with $1 million invested in you this quarter.

By the way, join us at INTERSECT18 from October 16th to 18th for training, TARP credits and lots of chances to keep Getting Our Hands Dirty. It is going to be an epic year, I promise this.

GRIDSMART 6.8 Offers Major Improvements

Written By Jeff Price, Chief Technology Officer

If you haven’t downloaded and installed GRIDSMART Version 6.8 Software, you’re missing out on some significant benefits.

As always, GRIDSMART strives to be Simple, Flexible, and Transparent. We’ve been listening to our customers and GRIDSMART 6.8 improves startup speed, reduces camera discovery time, and adds the all-new and industry-first Occupancy Based Actuation (OBA) feature.

OBA lets customers create vehicles zones that trigger different outputs based on the estimated number of vehicles in the zone. Now you don’t need to draw two zones to achieve third-car protected left actuation. You can draw a single zone that sends one output for any cars and a different output when there are three or more cars. With a good camera view of the zone, you can even program particular outputs for up to six vehicles.

Another improvement we believe our customers will really appreciate is that we have decreased camera discovery time by more than 70%, now finishing in under one-and-a-half minutes from power up or camera connection for properly connected cameras. This should really improve installation, setup, and troubleshooting.

We’ve also improved the behavior of the GS2 front-panel camera LEDs to be more responsive to real-time changes and make clear exactly what’s happening at any given time. The CAMSTAT light, labeled CAMERA 1 until recently, now indicates the status of all configured cameras with the following signals:

  • Flashing amber – Searching for cameras
  • Flashing red – A configured camera is not receiving images
  • Solid green – All configure cameras are receiving images

The NEWCAM light, labeled CAMERA 2 until recently, simply indicates when any new cameras are present with a solid green.

Take a look at the 6.8 Changelog to see all the other improvements and fixes. Take advantage of all the new software features by downloading the latest version here, and if you want to learn more about what 6.8 has to offer, you can view our webinar on the GRIDSMART Vimeo channel.

GRIDSMART 6.8 is a direct result of your feedback. Please contact us through our new Support Portal with continued feedback and new feature requests. We love hearing your needs and ideas and look forward to hearing your stories about how GRIDSMART 6.8 is helping you improve intersection actuation.

Do You Suffer from Antenna Installation Phobia?

Written by Mike Tourville, VP of Engineering

The GRIDSMART Antenna comes as part of the GRIDSMART GS2 package (it also comes with STREETSMART), but some have been reluctant to install it. We’re hearing the primary reason is concern about drilling into the cabinet. We get it. It sounds invasive, but this is a simple, secure process that prevents the weather from penetrating the cabinet. Installation takes 5-minutes or less after which you’ll be up and running, realizing the full benefits immediately. How simple to install? Go ahead and click on this link to view a video, and I’m pretty sure you’ll agree it’s easier than most projects you do around your own home.

Hopefully we’ve allayed your installation fears, but let’s talk about the benefits of having the GRIDSMART antenna attached and working. This antenna will connect your intersection directly to the GRIDSMART cloud, capturing and saving all kinds of data including turn counts, traffic flow, configuration protocols and system performance. Most of you already operate with our Performance Module meaning you’re already receiving comprehensive data (if you don’t it’s a simple upgrade, and whenever you’re ready, the antenna will allow you to retrieve historical data). For those of you who retrieve that information manually from the cabinet, think of the GRIDSMART Cloud as your data repository. With just a few mouse clicks on your own computer, you’ll be able to access the kind of information you need to make meaningful and impactful decisions about signal timing and traffic patterns, right on the spot. For those of you who can already view this data in-house, the GRIDSMART Cloud is a critical backup, storing set up and installation protocols for the intersection. The encrypted information transfer occurs on a secure VPN (virtual private network) giving you immediate access to real-time and historical information.

For those of you who haven’t installed your GRIDSMART antenna, I hope you’ll reconsider. Five minutes of work can have years of impact.