TORONTO, Nov. 9, 2017 (Droneblog)
The Sky Guys, Canada’s leader in drone technology and unmanned solutions, have teamed up with NVIDIA, IBM and University of Toronto to be awarded $750,000, from Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), as part of the Small Business Innovation Challenge (SBIC). The group will work closely with the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) to develop an artificial intelligence-enabled drone solution to monitor Ontario’s 400-series highways in response to the Vehicle Occupancy Detection Problem Statement.
The application, titled, “Long-Range AI-Enabled Unmanned Aerial System for Highway Traffic Enforcement with Future Road Applications,” was selected and funding will be administered by OCE on behalf of the Ontario government over the next two years while The Sky Guys, NVIDIA, IBM, and U of T work with Ministry of Transportation on this project.
“OCE is proud to deliver the Small Business Innovation Challenge on behalf of the Ontario government,” says Tom Corr, President and CEO of OCE. “The program will support Ontario-based, technology-driven SMEs in their mission to develop and test innovative technology solutions for public sector challenges. In Ontario, small businesses are at the heart of emerging trends and cutting-edge research, and act as a key part of the supply chain bringing innovation from ideation to market across industries. I would like to congratulate the successful applicants and I look forward to seeing their products and services grow.”
“This is very exciting for us,” said Adam Sax, President and CEO of The Sky Guys. “Ontario is the hub of innovation in Canada, so we are very honoured to be selected for this amazing project.” The project will see The Sky Guys work with the ministry to test AI-equipped drones for highway enforcement and management, beginning with High-Occupancy Vehicle/High-Occupancy Toll (HOV/HOT) lanes.
“The growth and momentum of The Sky Guys have been remarkable” said Ian Hull of Hull and Hull LLP, a new member of the company’s board of directors. “New products such as the DX-3 are being developed, the amazing success of the Second Annual Big Drone Show, an oversubscribed private placement with a major investment from Fairfax Financial earlier this year, and now this project with the Province of Ontario is just more proof that The Sky Guys are Canada’s leader in drone technology.”
“The Sky Guys are leveraging the latest advances in aircraft controls, AI, and cloud security to offer a safe, privacy-protected, and reliable package for billing and enforcing HOV/HOT lanes. We’re extremely excited to work with The Sky Guys on sharing our latest research to support the project”, said Angela Schoellig, a professor at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies. “And this is just the beginning. In the future, our system will evolve to address additional challenges, from tracking road defects to correlating highway contractor choice to the quality of roads they maintain,” added Jeremy Wang, CTO of The Sky Guys.
“We have understood the disruptive capabilities of drones and unmanned aerial vehicles since launching The Sky Guys, and have helped countless clients reap the benefits,” said Sax. “To see government expressing interest in how our technology can help build smarter cities in Ontario is thrilling, and we are beyond excited to develop the best methods to assist in the monitoring of highway traffic laws in the province.”