Intesect16, the annual high-tech transportation summit, kicked off today at the world headquarters of GRIDSMART Technologies, Inc. in Knoxville, TN. In its short history, the event has attracted world renowned transportation leaders to discuss technological innovations that will save time, money and lives, and this year is shaping up to be one of the most insightful events to date.
The event kicked off with a breakfast meeting hosted by the GRIDSMART Sales & Engineering team followed by remarks by co-founder and CEO Bill Malkes. Malkes said, “As a company and as a member of the greater intelligent transportation community, we are truly excited about what the future holds. We’re committed to improving the quality of life for people around the world by sticking to our philosophy of being Simple. Flexible. Transparent.
As the sessions progressed, GRIDSMART hit several key areas of progress for the company including the overall operating system, cloud computing features and mobile applications driving the next generation of traffic management.
Preston Garland, director of Web Services for GRIDSMART gave an overview of ATLAS, the web-based software platform that allows traffic departments to securely share imagery and intersection value information from GRIDSMART systems and IP cameras with outside partners. This revolutionary platform brings critical data that can be seen from anywhere and shared with anyone in the world.
“There’s tremendous value for emergency responders and engineering departments to be able to see intersections in real-time, and it’s not expensive,” Garland said. “It’s completely cloud-based and there’s no software to install. You add in map views, historical data and data visualization modules, as well as intersection video playback, and you’ve got one of the most powerful traffic monitoring platforms in the world.”
Jeff Price, Chief Technology Officer, discussed the massive volume of intersection performance data and huge numbers of vehicle turning movement counts that are collected by the GRIDSMART system 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Using the industry’s only open application program interface (API) to pull data, Price was able to paint an in-depth traffic picture for Knoxville, TN and Allentown, PA over 2 years of perpetually collected, minute by minute data, something impossible to do with traditional short-term count studies.
Price said, “Spot counts create blind spots of information that can be dangerous. Some of the most interesting and useable data from a traffic management and planning perspective came at times that you normally wouldn’t anticipate with traditional time-count methods.” He went on to say the intersection information collected by GRIDSMART equipment would have cost millions of dollars if conducted through temporary camera data collection.
“Our methods not only save millions of dollars by eliminating temporary counts, but you can capture information using the GRIDSMART API and open source software that no one will be able to collect with traditional methods. For us and our customers, it’s always about doing more and spending less.”