IoT-enabling your Intelligent Transportation DevicesJune 15, 2017
While working with Colorado’s Department of Transportation (CDOT) in the mid-2000s under a different moniker, Kritek (www.kritek.org) team members designed and deployed an Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) platform that allowed us to easily integrate devices and their data. With it, we were able to bring disparate, simple devices into complex scenarios to rapidly add new functionality and intelligence to their operations. The ITS platform we built propelled CDOT into the early adopter phase of the Internet of Things (IoT) and was a huge success, even earning us the prestigious Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) Technical Excellence Award in 2006.
Fast-forward a decade later and not much has changed with devices manufactured for the intelligent transportation industry. For instance, most intelligent transportation devices manufactured today are still reasonably simple and single purposed. They still communicate over unsecure, proprietary protocols and APIs. They are not built to operate within today’s IoT standards such as Transport Layer Security and MQTT (Message Queue Telemetry Transport) and therefore lack technical efficiencies and integration capabilties inherent in today's IoT-enabled things. Intelligent Transportation devices continue to provide singular functionality within data silos and any complex machine-2-machine (M2M) interactions orchestrated with other types of things remains costly to deploy and limited in functionality at best.
Klover Smart Transportation Platform changes all of that. It is purpose-built to enable intelligent transportation devices to be real members of the Internet of Things. With Klover, devices that either speak insecure protocols or do not use IoT standards such as MQTT, can now become a trusted, integral part of your ITS solution and work seamlessly with other IoT-enabled things.
Take dynamic messge signs (DMS) and their standard NTCIP protocol, for example. The protocol is based on an unsecure version of SNMP and involves sometimes 10 or more SNMP MIB calls just to activate a message on a sign. For these reasons, dynamic message signs are not very easily integrated with other devices and especially not over a public Internet connection! This is no longer the case. Kritek partnered with Skyline Products (www.skylineproducts.com) to IoT-enable its products with Klover. The result? Skyline signs are now able to perform highly optimized, NTCIP compliant, secure, end-to-end communications even over the public Internet without costly infrastructure such as laying fiber optic lines for private networks. With Klover, Skyline signs are truly IoT devices, and for the first time they are capable of interacting with other IoT-enabled things across complex workflows, thus, opening up new opportunities for signage deployment and product offerings.
Over the past decade, we at Kritek have integrated dozens of different ITS devices into our original award-winning platform. They come from numerous vendors and include amber and color full-matrix NTCIP-compliant DMS, weather stations, radars, Bluetooth(tm) readers, ramp meters, lane usage signs, variable speed limit signs, blank out signs and more. I'm proud to say that our next generation, Klover Smart Transportation Platform is available now and able to transform your ITS devices into real, IoT-enabled Things opening up endless possibilities for your business or traffic management center.