Student and startup teams competed for $15,000 and the opportunity to pilot solutions for the City of West Lafayette!
The Innovation Partners Institute at the Purdue Research Foundation, in partnership with the City of West Lafayette, the Indiana 5G Zone, and US Ignite, created the West Lafayette (WL) Smart City Challenge. The challenge sought to empower innovative teams to:
Develop a scalable IoT solution and/or software application by leveraging the City of WL’s existing IoT infrastructure and data inputs and the Discovery Park District’s NineTwelve 5G/IoT Lab to improve safety for vulnerable road users who navigate high-traffic corridors and intersections during major seasonal events.
The Problem and Existing IoT Infrastructure
West Lafayette’s population nearly doubles when students return to campus every fall. The roads become high-trafficked areas during certain events such as football games, concerts, and festivals. The robust density of vulnerable road users, like pedestrians and cyclists, mixed with autonomous delivery vehicles and cars increases the risk of an accident resulting in injury or death.
Currently, 19 street cameras and sensors capture video analytics and sensor data in West Lafayette. A small sample of the available data and analytics can be provided to participants upon request. Additionally, second phase finalists will obtain access to historical and real-time video analytics and sensor data to help develop and test prototypes of proposed solutions.
The Finalists' Concepts
Several teams offered many highly innovative proposals, but the three finalists selected stood out for their solutions’ potential impact, viability, scalability, and sustainability. Each earned $5,000 to build a working prototype to improve public safety for vulnerable road users.
The three winning concepts were:
- Metaverse Technologies Inc. is creating a smart intersection beacon platform that will anonymously collect data from intersections and user apps and process the information to deliver messages and signal directives back to the intersection and roadway users to improve situational awareness, safety, and intersection efficiency.
- Communicative LED Pathways is an Internet-of-Things-based audio and visual platform to improve situational awareness of non-motor vehicle roadway users to local conditions at individual intersections – congestion, traffic speed, etc., to improve safety and intersection efficiency.
- TRAWS: Traffic Real-time Analysis Weather System is an Internet-of-Things-based street sign platform that delivers automated AI/ML derived messages based on various roadway conditions – weather, congestion, construction – to road users to improve safety and roadway efficiency.
Read the full announcement here.
Purdue University engineering students examine equipment while discussing their entry into the West Lafayette Smart City Challenge. (Purdue Research Foundation photo/Steve Martin)
Demo Day and Winner
On April 29, 2022, the teams showcased their prototypes during the WL Smart City Challenge Demo Day!
Team TRAWS was selected as the winner by the challenge committee, which included subject matter experts from technology companies, who also served as mentors for the finalists during the prototyping phase.
TRAWS was advised by Sean Brophy, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Purdue University, and led by four College of Engineering students: Sid Gaur (from Reno, Nevada), Atharva Rao (from Phoenix, AZ), Benjamin John Leith Murray (from Apex, NC), and Joachim Tobias Velasco Bautista (from Binan, Philippines). TRAWS moves on to the third and final phase to pilot the solution for the City of West Lafayette, beginning later this month through December.
CHALLENGE STRUCTURE AND TIMELINE
Proposal - The call for proposals closed on December 3, 2021.
Prototype - Three teams advanced to Phase II and earned a $5,000 stipend to develop a beta version of the proposed solution. The teams also received mentoring and coaching support from PRF and NineTwelve Convergence Lab.
Pilot & Scale - The winning team (TRAWS) earned $10,000, and the opportunity to pilot their solution for the City of West Lafayette.
The WL Smart City Challenge invited applicants with the ability to pilot and evaluate the technology in the Discovery Park District Lab to Life Testbed at Purdue University during the challenge timeframe (May 2022 - December 2022) that are:
- University-based students and faculty teams in the US; or
- US-owned and operated startups or businesses (< 25 employees)
Evaluation and Scoring Criteria
Proposals and prototypes were evaluated by an Evaluation Committee based on the following criteria:
- Impact – Does the solution address the challenge?
- Viability – How realistic and executable is the solution?
- Scalability – Is the solution scalable beyond the testbed demonstration?
- Sustainability – Is there broad-scale applicability supportive of commercialization?
The Evaluation Committee had representation from the City of West Lafayette, Indiana 5G Zone, US Ignite, NEXT Studios, Purdue Research Foundry, and other Challenge advisors and sponsors.
The Innovation Partners Institute is located in the Convergence Center, in the heart of the new Purdue University Discovery Park District. Literally on campus, the Discovery Park District is a playground for innovation providing access to world-class researchers, leading companies, state-of-the-art facilities, core-labs, and advanced technology centers. This 400+ acre mixed use development is also being planned as a “connected community” powered by a 5G+ technology infrastructure comprised of fiber, edge data-center, multi-use spectrum including CBRS, and multiple IOT and AI test beds.
The City of West Lafayette, Indiana, is home to Purdue University. As part of its strategic plan, the City is looking to make its community more sustainable as well as biker and pedestrian friendly.
The Indiana 5G Zone (IN5GZ), one of many NineTwelve initiatives, is advancing the transformation of physical industries by powering Smart Cities, Smart Logistics, and Advanced Manufacturing. Their cross-sector demonstration 5G lab is the first of its kind to enable government, business, and academia to design and commercialize groundbreaking testbed offerings with immediate practical applications.
US Ignite is a high-tech nonprofit with a mission to accelerate the smart community movement. Our public-private partnership programs leverage advanced networking and data science to drive key outcomes for communities. Our work also enables new opportunities for wireless and IoT research designed to help narrow the gap between cutting-edge experimentation and scalable, real-world technology deployments. For more information, visit www.us-ignite.org.
The Purdue Foundry exists to help Purdue students, faculty and local alumni move ideas to the marketplace more quickly. It is a place to transform innovators into entrepreneurs by providing advice on entity formation, ideation, market analysis and business model development. We are focused on helping individuals at Purdue who have business or product ideas and want to turn them into a company. The process and passion for the success of each company is driven by the entrepreneur and while the Foundry provides support, education and additional tools to help each client reach success.
Founded in 2020, NEXT Studios is a venture studio that is a partnership of experienced entrepreneurs who help visionaries share their ideas, craft them through a repeatable process, and move them forward with capital and talent. The studio works with entrepreneurs across the state to move their ideas into products and their products into companies. The studio uses a proven process to reduce the risk for investors and encourage more local investors to get involved in our local innovation economy.
Ericsson is one of the leading providers of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to service providers. We enable the full value of connectivity by creating game-changing technology and services that are easy to use, adopt, and scale, making our customers successful in a fully connected world.
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) enables people to make powerful connections--whether in business, education, philanthropy, or creativity. Cisco hardware, software, and service offerings are used to create the Internet solutions that make networks possible--providing easy access to information anywhere, at any time.
Tilson is on a mission to build America’s information infrastructure. Recognized eleven consecutive years on the Inc. 5000, Tilson provides network deployment and information system professional services to telecom, construction, utility and government clients. As a leading network design, build, and operating firm, Tilson builds high-performing technology project teams who take on the largest and most impactful information infrastructure projects in the country.
Miovision provides cities with modern tools to fix today’s traffic problems. We offer solutions that collect multimodal traffic data and uncover actionable insights, helping municipalities get more out of their road network.
The company started by three University of Waterloo friends in a basement has evolved into the leading authority on traffic data. Miovision began as a traffic solution company, but our continued approach to innovation and dedication to solving real-world problems has led us to where we stand today: helping cities achieve their smart city visions.
AT&T creates connection – with each other, with the things people and businesses need to thrive every day, and with the stories and experiences that matter. Connectivity simply makes the world better, and we believe everyone should have the internet access they need to live, learn, work and play to life’s fullest. Learn more at att.com.