Last month, Outsight, a provider of lidar-based perception software, and GridMatrix, a provider of traffic analytics solutions, announced what they describe as a “significant strategic partnership.” Under the new partnership, the companies will bring together their respective areas of expertise to create a new solution designed for city infrastructure and traffic management.
In thinking about those areas of expertise, Outsight’s lies within the world of processing and analyzing data from lidar services. The company, which has stated its mission as “to make lidar-based spatial intelligence plug and play, ensuring it’s accessible to application developers in every market,” has three main products. One provides real-time data from SLAM-based data collection, one classifies point clouds, and the other specializes in object detection and tracking. It’s the latter that will be utilized in this strategic partnership, with its ability to track everything like cars, pedestrians, and other moving objects on and around roadways. Late last year, they joined the Lidar Coalition as the group’s founding software member.
GridMatrix, meanwhile, specializes in taking the kind of data provided by Outsight’s products (as well as other data), and turning them into valuable traffic insights. Their software, according to the company’s website, is able to quickly and efficiently break down large amounts of information while providing real-time analytics for traffic engineers as well as visualizations of the data. Founded in 2021, GridMatrix states their mission as “to evolve existing transportation infrastructure for the demands of the next 50 years.”
Both Outsight and GridMatrix believe this partnership has the potential to significantly move things forward as the global society moves closer towards the next generation of transportation, and more broadly as “smart cities” become less theoretical and become the norm around the world. In their release of the news, they describe the end result of their work being to “offer an integrated, end-to-end traffic management solution that promises to dramatically improve traffic monitoring, safety, and efficiency for their locale and state government customers and partners.”
We already see lidar systems – such as ones from companies like Seoul Robotics – placed along roadways around the world for perception of activity in cities. These are often paired with cameras, and sometimes radar, with lidar providing the advantage of working in all levels of light and also not capturing data like faces, working around some privacy concerns. Having those systems in place is only one part of the equation, though. Outsight provides the software needed to process and understand that data, while GridMatrix can make that information usable and insightful for those in the traffic management circles.
These kinds of partnerships are going to be key in developing these kinds of smart traffic and city solutions around the world. Right now, a lot of these kinds of solutions are siloed, making them overly complex and often more expensive. Those are two things that will almost always put a stop to any government initiative. It’s not to say this kind of partnership will make smart city development a breeze – it’s a complex process – but it’s a good start. Furthermore, as autonomous vehicles continue to appear more on roads, smart infrastructure within cities will be crucial for everyone’s safety. That’s exactly what this partnership is hoping to address.
On the partnership, Outsight Director of Customer Engagement and Solutions Murat Atalay said, “By combining our technologies, we will provide municipalities with a powerful tool for understanding and managing traffic patterns in real time. This will enhance safety, reduce congestion, and promote more efficient, sustainable urban living.”
Austin Wilson, Vice President of Business Development of GridMatrix, added, “Our partners and customers will now have access to a more complete and accurate understanding of their road networks. This partnership will enable our combined products to usher in a new world of systemic safety, drive equitable innovation throughout communities, and revolutionize traffic management.”