Traffic management is a giant puzzle that Waycare is solving through cloud data and AI with the help of connected cars, crowdsourcing and infrastructure. Waycare CEO, Noam Maital, explains how Waycare is helping to make roads safer, the repercussions of Covid-19 and new solutions to old problems.
“The company is called Waycare because we wanted a name that is associated with value. It is simple. We are rethinking the way people access the data and using AI to make it faster and usable,” says Maital.
Waycare is a cloud-based traffic management system using data from transportation infrastructure, connected vehicle data from partners such as Volvo, Wejo and crowdsourced data to create real-time insights and solutions using artificial intelligence (AI).
Waycare is working with agencies in Texas, Florida, Nevada and some places in California in the US. Also, Waycare AI is managing traffic in Europe and Israel, with Southeast Asia deployments expected by the end of the year, says Maital.
The first goal of Waycare is to avoid collisions if there is a crash of any kind to ensure safety. Every minute there is a blockage, it severely creates more congestion, says Maital.
“Data is anonymized making it easier for smart communication between infrastructure and different organizations to make data smarter on how we manage the roads.”
Maital sees the work of Waycare as helping to solve the traffic puzzle.
“Say there is a puzzle of 10,000 pieces – but you do not have the picture, you have no way of knowing what it looks like. You can not put it together. But if you have 80% of the picture, then you can put all the pieces together to find out what it means,” says Maital.
What Ways Does Waycare Help with Crashes, Prevention and Traffic?
Getting to incidents is vital in traffic management. In a crash or a road incident, someone may or may not call 911. It can create a traffic jam when everything is analogue. When there is an incident, the data is not available right away. Sometimes it can take over nine minutes before there is a reaction to an incident, says Maital.
Waycare’s Proactive Response with early incident alerts reduces incident response and clearance times.
The company’s work with the Department of Transportation in Nevada is proving to be effective. Waycare AI analysis showed high-risk roads and when to deploy prevention. Patrol cars and dynamic messaging signs warned drivers causing an 18% reduction in crashes, a 43% decrease in the percentage of speeding drivers and a 2.76% decrease in average speeds.
Waycare is working on many solutions. To deal with work zones where three lanes might go down to one lane, AI is used for connected devices such as smart cones, HAAS digital alerting and signage to warn drivers, says Maital.
He says Waycare is working with Volvo using tire sensors data that warns of slippery roads. If there is a pothole it may be a very long time before the pothole is reported. Vehicle data reveals potholes that may cause accidents.
The Waycare system data shows a significant amount of changes in cold weather, warm weather and high wind conditions, says Maital. Messaging signs can warn of black ice or winds. Roads may be closed to prevent collisions.
A new project in Nevada will be discovering how to better manage traffic during a big game day or a special event. Waycare AI reveals to traffic managers where there should be more sensors or cameras on the roads, says Maital.
Is More Traffic the New Normal Post Covid?
Waycare data showed during Covid-19, there was a decrease in volume – the average speed went up with more accidents.
Now things are getting close to about 90% back on the roads. Israel is an exception, where it is now 120% congested due to less use of shared vehicles and public transport, says Maital.
More and more automakers are willing to share their data. Maital expects that every vehicle will have connectivity in 10 to 15 years.
What is the Future of Connected Traffic Management?
“We are the conduit for automakers and mobility operators to enable two-way communication and how to manage the system. Through Waycare partners, we leverage the data for good– for safer streets and getting it working from all sides. In the future vehicles, will connect to infrastructure to help manage transportation and communicate better in real-time about speed limits variables and traffic management,” says Maital.
He predicts, “I see Waycare deployed in every state and every city in the US. It will usher in a new way to use transportation and manage traffic. It will reduce traffic and improve safety among all modes of transportation. We will be at the epicentre of the new digital infrastructure revolution.”