In 2022, Durham RTDS launched the “Safe and Accessible Transportation” Challenge for startups and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). This challenge called for technology to make intersections in Durham Region safer by increasing driver awareness of pedestrians and cyclists. Startups, innovators and SMEs from across the globe responded with a resounding number of innovative solutions. Durham RTDS is thrilled to announce that Parsons Corporation, in partnership with AutoGuardian By SmartCone, has been awarded the challenge.

“We challenged the business community to use new technology to help improve safety at signalized intersections. Many businesses stepped up to the plate, with Parsons Corporation submitting the winning proposal, in partnership with AutoGuardian By SmartCone.” says John Presta, Commissioner of the Works Department with the Region of Durham, “We are pleased to use this partnership—facilitated through the Durham Regional Technology Development Site—to pilot innovative solutions for road safety in our community. It’s about working together to accelerate innovation in support of our Vision Zero goals: safe environments for all modes of transportation here in Durham.”

Having been awarded this Challenge, Parsons and SmartCone will pilot their solution at high-risk intersections in Durham Region. They can also research and co-develop with municipal staff, access technical expertise and resources through Ontario Tech University and Durham College, access Spark Centre business advisory services, and more.

Parsons is a global multidisciplinary engineering, planning, management and technology firm. They’re a recognized leader in transportation infrastructure, providing their systems solutions to public and private clients in the smart cities and Intelligent Transportation Systems for 78 years. With an extensive track record in traffic engineering for Vision Zero plans — like traffic and transit operations analysis, traffic modelling and traffic signal optimization — Parsons will help Durham Region make our intersections safer and more intelligent.

SmartCone is an Ottawa-based technology ecosystem firm that specializes in providing Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) solutions for transportation safety, pedestrian management, logistics and more. SmartCone’s solutions have been deployed for clients, including Ontario Tech University, Worldwide Safety Services at the Walt Disney Company, and Durham Region Transit.

“We’re very excited to win this Challenge, and we applaud the Region of Durham and Durham RTDS for their innovative foresight in launching this initiative.” Parsons says, “We’re most looking forward to working with the Region to develop our solution, a made-in-Ontario collision prediction and warning system that has the potential to reduce injuries and fatalities to pedestrians and other road users at intersections across Durham and beyond.”

Earlier this year, Durham RTDS released their second challenge, “Enabling Intelligent Transit Stops,” which called for a detection and communication system for transit stops that would enable Durham Region Transit (DRT) to understand how many customers are waiting on a route, how they use transit stop infrastructure while waiting for a bus and how to communicate important announcements. Successful applicants can pilot their solutions at transit stops throughout the region, and additional challenges will be released in 2023.

By identifying municipal challenges and requesting solutions from innovators, Durham RTDS is creating a test bed for deploying these technologies, bringing them to market and, more importantly, accelerating these solutions for community adoption.

About The Durham Regional Technology Development Site (Durham RTDS)

Durham RTDS is a high-calibre collective of regional innovation centres, accelerators, post-secondary institutions and partners in the Durham Region that foster the research, development, production and adoption of technology and innovation in electric and connected vehicles, smart mobility and smart community solutions for Canadian and global markets.

From access to specialized equipment, hardware and software to business and technical advisory services, targeted programming and access to funding, Durham RTDS provides startups and SMEs with the world-class ecosystem they need to take their innovation from idea to market.


Media Contact 

Kailee Rembosz
Communications Specialist
Spark Centre
[email protected]