A new application for bicycle and pedestrian counting, designed to assist in the development of Smart Mobility programs, has been released at the 2016 Smart Cities Innovation Summit in Austin, Texas, USA. Following the completion of its beta trial period with the City of Palo Alto, California, the application is now generally available to cities seeking intelligence on bicycle and pedestrian traffic, in order to help meet their public safety and environmental sustainability goals.
VIMOC Technologies has announced the general availability of its flagship Smart City Application Platform. Earlier this month, the City of Palo Alto announced it had expanded its bicycle and pedestrian counting initiative that will help measure the efficacy of the city’s programs that encourage citizens to reduce personal automobile usage.
Using VIMOC’s platform for ‘landscape computing’ and the Internet of Things (IoT), Palo Alto has strategically deployed sensors throughout the city, concentrating heavily in the downtown district and around school sites. The city used a US Department of Transportation (USDOT) Safe Routes to School grant, designed to reduce risks to students and encourage more families to walk and bike or use other alternatives to driving more often. The program enables the city to evaluate the existing conditions for students traveling to school, assess current education programs, develop new encouragement tools, and explore policy changes to improve school commute safety.
The expanded program adds 45 count stations across the city. Sensors do not collect images or any other personally identifiable information. Sophisticated algorithms can translate movement into data that is amorphous and yet predictive. Data is processed in the field and the post-processed results are sent to the cloud, so that it can be accessed in real time and used to identify trends and make decisions. On May 12, VIMOC’s application was able to document and benchmark a 20% increase in ridership from week to week due to increased awareness and the city’s marketing of the 22nd annual Bay Area Bike to Work Day.
VIMOC’s distributed computing platform extends cloud computing near the edge of the network, offering high-scalability, security and cost-effective management of smart infrastructure services. The company calls this ‘Landscape Computing’. Data is collected and processed through a neural mesh network of sensors across a city or campus through nBoxes, an intelligent computing and analytics node. By migrating intelligence closer to the edge of the network, the very environment in which we live becomes the computer. The VIMOC platform currently supports a set of other advanced applications for urban planning and smart city analytics, including parking, traffic flow and water management.
“Many cities have launched programs to encourage residents to embrace cycling as an alternative for commuting to work and school. But, with limited data or no data at all, these cities struggle to understand if these programs have been successful,” said Tarik Hammadou, CEO and co-founder of VIMOC Technologies. “We enable cities to understand pedestrian and cycling traffic patterns, and identify successes and areas of improvement.”