Transpose – Solving Infrastructure Problems Through Automated Traffic Data Collection
I am sure we’ve all had those moments when we blame the government or some agency for picking the worst possible spot for an infrastructure project which in turn causes trouble for passersby. Infrastructure projects go through a long, mundane surveying process to find the best spot which is mostly not executed well because, as a task, it is highly repetitive for the surveyors and hence usually it is a bad job done. This is where Transpose, a data collection and analysis startup, comes in.
The present day major infrastructure projects require a huge amount of data to carry out projects. As on date, this data is collected using physical surveys where surveyors are sent on site for a certain period to acquire the needed data such as vehicular count, pedestrian behavior, resource usage, etc. As expected, these surveyors have multiple limitations like redundancy, error and time.
Chiranjay Shah, Founder at Transpose says,
What we do is we automate the whole process by using economical sensors made of off the shelf components found in an everyday smartphone. These sensors accurately count, segregate, append and analyse the traffic movement through a video feed of the traffic movement. As we are concerned only with the data count (numbers), the video is processed. The data collected and the video chucked. This helps us reduce our transmission and processing costs.
The count acquired is then segregated into the type of vehicle, direction and then can be sold in the form of data packets.
Transpose deals in data acquisition via image & pattern recognition of its sensors. These sensors need to be installed in order to take an aerial video feed to analyze and extract data out of it. Thus the only installation required is putting up the sensors on the streets. The data is appended and pooled directly onto the central server wirelessly.
How Can This Help?
“The need for accurate data has increased exponentially and data itself has become a product,” says Chiranjay. “We have multiple verticals which we would like to tap. Our verticals are also divided into scales.”
The macro scale includes government infrastructure projects, private urban development and planning firms, traffic signal synchronization, parking and traffic management, mobile app for the masses, advertising agencies and also radio stations.
At a more micro scale there is indoor analytics extracted from the retail sector, specifically malls, to actually understand the number of footfalls and pattern of movement indoors, so as to actually comprehend the sensitive spaces where customers mostly tend to go and accordingly rearrange spatial and object components.
Public infrastructure is one of India’s major problems while it can actually be a solution. Being students of CEPT University, Ahmedabad facilitates the team to presently focus only on the infrastructure sector and specifically the transportation sector. And also proves to give them a jumpstart via this sector.
The infrastructure field is exciting because being together in the same space for most parts of the day helps us discuss and relate to what we learn every day this best done through our classroom lectures/curriculum. Every lecture can be related to in terms of our product, abilities and understanding. This helps us to reach the optimum amount of sync and incorporates the needed progressive approach.
The team includes five 2nd year classmates doing their Bachelors of Urban Planning from the Center for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT), Ahmedabad – Chiranjay Shah, Jaydip Biniwale, Kavina Patel, Shaival Gajjar and Abhishek Doshi.
Being from a planning background and coming from an ecosystem which is highly inclined on planning, the team focuses on the using this data to create a differential in the planning approaches in India.
Challenges and Learnings
One of the challenges while entering the prototyping phase was that we felt there is a huge gap between the initial ideation and the actual implementation of the product. This phase brings about a complete set of fresh challenges and issues that need to be dealt with before actually getting the product to work.
We, as a team, believe in racing up to the prototyping phase as it is very important to get out fast and understand the real case problems, which only come up when you are actually pilot testing on the field.
TTP’s Take on Transpose
We see tremendous potential in products like Transpose. It will help solve a major pain point. But it is too early to say as the product is still in the prototype stage. The team is working on taking it to the next stage while being incubated at IIHS Urban Incubator, Bangalore. They’ve also won a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation at the National Student Challenge 2013 which adds to the fact that such products are highly encouraged. The major thing to watch out will be whether our change-averse government organizations actually try out something like this.
We wish the entire Transpose team best wishes for the days to come.