Friday, March 6, 2015

VTA Opens Innovation Center

The VTA opened an innovation center a couple weeks ago at its River Oaks headquarters (3331 N First Street). This is a space where VTA teams, companies, and students can get together and work on new transportation technology. VTA is looking at a variety of ways to improve the customer experience and this new innovation center will help them focus on these efforts.

Below are some examples of the technology projects that VTA is currently working on:

  • A zero emissions vehicle with dynamic, on-demand routing directing its driver to pick you up with a request from your smartphone—we’re requesting proposals for the software to drive this and looking closely at the operational challenges.
  • Bluetooth beacons throughout the system to tell smartphone apps where you are so they can help you plan your trip, improve accessibility or offer you coupons—this will be a central focus of Hack My Ride 2015, VTA’s app challenge starting this summer.
  • Expanding our popular TransLoc real-time light rail arrival app to our bus fleet, as requested by our customers.
  • An open-source, multimodal  trip planner for any combination of transit, walking, biking, park and ride, bike share and driving (if you must). You can customize your biking directions based on your safety, climbing and speed preferences.
  • Touch screen and LCD monitors at light rail stations and transit hubs to provide real-time information, trip planning help, and more.
  • A pilot big data project with Allied Telesis to share and analyze camera feeds, sensors and social media in the cloud, enabling better collaboration with security partners for Super Bowl 50.
  • Working with startup Transitmix, a Code for America spinoff backed by Y Combinator, to move from paper and spreadsheets to an immediately responsive online transit planning tool that can engage the public and improve planning.
  • Working with our North San Jose neighbor Cisco on the Internet of Things for transportation—buses that talk to trains that talk to bus stops that talk to traffic signals that talk to bikes that talk get the idea.

Source: VTA

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