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Here’s how this tech firm uses AI to speed up traffic flow

Here's how this tech firm uses AI to speed up traffic flow

When Melissa Gross and Claudia Paskauskas launched InNovo Partners LLC in 2017, they started in an office with one laptop and no furniture.

Three years later, the Orlando-based tech company and former UCF business incubator client was named a finalist for two awards by the Association for Unmanned Vehicles Systems International on June 1. They were nominated alongside major players like United Parcel Services Inc. (NYSE: UPS) and the Air Force Research Laboratory.

InNovo, a tech transportation consulting firm, developed a platform that provides advanced traffic analytics. While it’s been nominated for awards for pairing that technology with drones, it’s also secured work based on what the platform, known as IPaas, can do through roadside cameras.

‘A dream come true’

The two founders both worked in transportation before starting InNovo, Gross as a traffic engineer and Paskauskas as a computer engineer and software developer. They both recognized data and technology were becoming vital to transportation planning, so they launched their firm and built IPaas, which is a “dream come true” for traffic engineers, according to Paskauskas.

That’s because the software, which can run through CCTV cameras, uses computer vision and artificial intelligence to track vehicle speed, trajectory and volume. That provides extensive analytics and can help engineers identify and address near misses — areas where vehicles are often too close together.

The automated and real-time process contrasts with the expensive or time-consuming alternatives, Gross said. Those include recording traffic for 24 hours and rewatching the video to count vehicle flow or setting up pricey equipment.

A needed solution

InNovo’s seven-person team works with private companies and public agencies across Florida to provide this data in the hopes of making transportation more efficient and, as a result, more affordable and accessible, Paskauskas said.

And the region’s transportation has a long way to go in terms of efficiency. For example, the Orlando commuter loses on average 57 hours and $1,010 each year due to congestion, according to a 2019 study by Texas A&M University. That’s worse than fellow Florida cities Jacksonville and Tampa.

This type of solution was recently referenced as a transportation need by the head of another Orlando-based tech transportation firm.

Autonomous shuttle provider Beep Inc.’s CEO Joe Moye said smart infrastructure can take autonomous vehicles to the “next level” during a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration panel on June 17. Specifically, he mentioned cameras that can track vehicle trajectory and help autonomous vehicles know if another car is likely to run a red light.

Beep operates a self-driving shuttle service in Lake Nona that relaunched June 18 after a coronavirus-induced pause. The shuttle has served 14,000 riders since its original September launch, which Moye said the firm estimates is the equivalent of 7,000-9,000 cars taken off the road in the Orlando community.


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