Canadian data company raises US$24m for ‘smart cities’ vision

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An eight-year old Canadian start-up company, which came out of the University of Waterloo, has raised C$30m (US$24m) in new financing that will enable it to expand its team and accelerate its vision of smart cities and cloud-based traffic management technology. Based in Kitchener, Ontario, Miovision has developed technologies to bring outdated urban infrastructure into the 21st Century. Launched in 2011, the company’s Scout Video Collection Unit has transformed the efficiency and effectiveness of traffic studies by analyzing more than 1.5 million hours of data for traffic data collection companies, engineering firms and government agencies. The Scout portable video data collection unit gathers information that is then analyzed in the company’s Traffic Data Platform. Now, Miovision is turning its attention to cloud-based traffic management that will provide the foundation for smart city applications and directly improve traffic patterns and flow.

Transportation officials worldwide are transitioning from the idea that new construction and more capacity is always the answer to traffic challenges. They are increasingly looking for better data, monitoring and management of existing infrastructure, and they are turning to modern, peripheral sensors and cameras to collect that data, which is where Miovision’s expertise lies. “Cities recognize that technology can improve the lives of their residents, but they are barely scratching the surface of what is possible in terms of traffic,” said Tony Brijpaul, COO of Miovision. “Technology has thrived in areas like law enforcement and public safety, but there is still an epidemic of cities struggling with fast growth and gridlock. We will deliver the best technology to modernize traffic management systems, while providing top value for taxpayers and keeping citizens productive.”

Looking to the future, Miovision CEO, Kurtis McBride, said, “We are transforming the way innovative cities take advantage of cloud technology to make intersections smarter and safer. No one likes traffic congestion, but intersections can be hard to manage, and cities have struggled to address this problem. With this investment, we are well positioned to deliver affordable, high-impact solutions to cities around the world. The lack of innovation in traffic management really bothers us. There has been a lot of talk around how smart cities and the Internet of Things are going to change the world of transportation. We are proud to have steered clear of the hype and instead have quietly worked on meaningful solutions to the real problems our customers, and in turn all citizens, face.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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