Leveraging existing infrastructure with KloverSeptember 18, 2017
Kritek has worked with many customers to design and develop Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). Sometimes the solutions are completely new, involving all new devices and software. Oftentimes though, we are called on to help a customer leverage existing infrastructure in new and innovative ways. For instance, let’s say you have existing signage that traffic operators use to manually activate messages. And, now, you want to automate trip travel times on your signs using Klover’s Trip Travel Time module. How would you do that? It’s quite easy with new, Skyline signs that are already Klover-enabled™, but in this case, you’ve already installed signage along those routes and want to leverage your investment. We understand not all customers need new, turn-key solutions using Klover-enabled devices, so we provide multiple options to integrate existing infrastructure into our smart transportation platform with our Klover Leaf™ product.
What is it?
As I mention in my article on »IoT-enabling your Intelligent Transportation Devices«, existing ITS infrastructure is generally unsecure, speaks in native protocols, and is not remotely accessible from a unified interface. Klover Leaf is a box that retrofits existing infrastructure from any manufacturer to communicate with Klover Smart Transportation Platform in a secure, scalable, highly-available manner.
Klover Leaf with built-in cellular antenna
How does it work?
Klover Leaf creates a bridge from the device to Klover and uses our software development kit (SDK) to transform a device’s unsecure, native protocols into something Klover can easily orchestrate with other devices and workflows. A Klover Leaf is also configurable to handle one or more types of devices. For instance, one may be installed on an existing dynamic message sign or installed in a cabinet on a gantry, to control any number of devices such as dynamic message signs, lane use signs, radar, and more. We refer to this type of installation as an »edge appliance«. We also support a »data center appliances« which I will cover later.
US 36 Smart Sign gantry (Image courtesy of Colorado Department of Transportation)
A Klover Leaf has many ways to connect to the device itself including Bluetooth®, hardwired ethernet cable, or serial port. It connects to Klover via a private cellular network or over an existing customer network. Either way, a Klover Leaf is secure and encrypted, ensuring your device and it’s data are both safe.
Another great quality of a Klover Leaf is its minimal presence. The box is compact and can fit in most roadside cabinets or even inside some dynamic message signs themselves. Our experience has taught us that many maintenance personnel prefer to work with manufacturer provided software to troubleshoot device issues, so we designed the Klover Leaf to allow both products to work in tandem.
To help us design a solution with hardened specifications both inside and out, Kritek chose hardware partners with outstanding operational track records in the field. Klover Leaf boxes are built to withstand the cold, wet winters of the Rocky Mountains and the blazing, dry heat of the Southwest deserts. That said, we also offer a data center appliance that is readily connected to Klover from inside a data center. It enables connectivity between your devices and Klover without installing a Klover Leaf in the field at all. Klover Leaf is a critical component in moving you toward smarter transportation solutions that use Klover while leveraging existing investments in ITS infrastructure. The options are numerous, and we are here to help you choose the right one.