Few would disagree that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is in dire need of some systemwide upgrades. Some efforts, like New York City Transit President Andy Byford’s Fast Forward Plan to improve both subway and bus service and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed panel to oversee the authority’s reorganization, are already underway. In a sign the upgrade process may be picking up the pace, the MTA, along with the Partnership for New York City, on Monday announced the companies selected to participate in the Transit Tech Lab, an accelerator program for new products and technologies aimed at solving public transportation problems.
Six companies were chosen out of more than 100 hopefuls to participate in the eight-week program. They will work with MTA personnel to refine their products for solutions, including the utilization of predictive maintenance to reduce subway delays and using computer vision to reduce bus lane blockages.
A company called Veovo can use sensor technologies and cameras to predict dangerous crowding in train stations, while Preteckt can use raw sensor data to avoid service interruptions and unexpected downtime. Along with Veovo, the other company chosen to tackle subway issues is Axon Vibe, a smart mobility platform that predicts passenger travel patterns. And along with Preteckt, the finalists chosen for the bus challenge include Palisade Labs, a company that uses computer vision technology to assess obstructions in dedicated bus lanes; PIPS Technology, a machine vision technology provider; and Remix, a platform for optimizing transit routes and networks.
The companies chosen had to present already working products in the application process. At the end of the eight-week program, MTA officials can decide to move forward with the best technologies in a one-year pilot, set to begin in June.
“Through the MTA’s work with the Partnership, we are dedicated to testing and implementing new technologies that will modernize and improve subway and bus service across New York City,” MTA President Pat Foye said in a press release. “The Transit Tech Lab is one example of how the MTA is changing to embrace technology and build a culture of innovation by working with companies that are pioneers in mobility.”
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