New York City’s Transit Tech Lab has released the results of its annual challenge. The awardees will have the opportunity to implement their proposals in collaboration with regional transit agencies in year-long pilot programs.
One area of focus this year was ‘the Human Capital Challenge’ – addressing workforce shortages by seeking tools to improve employee recruitment and retention. This Challenge area requested solutions including: enhanced training tools to speed up and improve the hiring and onboarding process; tools to help recruit and retain operations staff, especially those with Commercial Driver Licenses (CDL); tools to communicate long-term career paths within agencies; upskilling and training tools for both technical and soft skills to invest in current employees; tools to empower employees by tracking and communicating productivity; tools for workforce and succession planning; and tools to improve conductor and bus driver safety.
Finalists in the Human Capital Challenge focus include:
- eSkill Corporation – provides a Talent Assessment Platform, including an online testing library and a remote proctoring solution, to easily evaluate job candidates through a fully configurable online platform;
- JetDocs – has a centralized catalog for users to submit tickets, requests and approvals, enabling easy standardization of processes to streamline workflows and enhance internal collaboration; and
- Pyxai – provides a virtual video-enabled assessment platform that evaluates and collects data on soft skills to help identify overlooked talent, improve retention rates, and reduce recruitment costs.
The second focus of this years’ challenge was operational efficiency, seeking tools that can reduce costs while also increasing efficiency. This Challenge area requested solutions including: predictive maintenance and analytics on public transit and infrastructure assets to proactively identify possible operational failures before they occur; tools to prevent fare evasion and improve/automate the issuance and processing of fare evasion summonses; tools predicting and mitigating operational disruptions; tools to help prioritize operational staff resources; tools to help automate and improve operations and make them more sustainable, and methods of connecting disparate sources of data into one system.
Challenge finalists in the operation efficiency focus include:
- ACCURE Battery Intelligence – has predictive battery analytics software that prevents battery fires and reduces the operations and maintenance costs of Electric Vehicle (EV) fleets;
- Digital Mortar – utilizes passenger flow sensors to provide real-time customer journey analytics for queue management, dynamic labor allocation, lost revenue analysis, and space planning and commercial real-estate optimization;
- Humatics – enables revenue service rolling stock to provide near real-time monitoring of track condition with precise positioning of track anomalies for improved maintenance;
- Lux Modus – uses LiDAR and imagery fusion technology to automate 3D mapping to optimize asset management on critical transit infrastructure;
- Optibus – uses artificial intelligence and optimization algorithms to empower planners and operators to improve public transit schedules and routes;
- PavCon – utilizes domain expertise, existing technology, and maintenance/operational data to deliver predictive maintenance and parts supply forecasts;
- Signapse – uses AI to automatically translate written text to sign language enabling scalable, cheaper, and faster accessible content for the Deaf community;
- Swiftly – provides a suite of mobile applications to automate the process for reporting on track inspection & signal testing;
- TekTracking – provides a suite of mobile applications to automate the process for reporting on track inspection & signal testing;
- ThroughPut Inc. – provides a rapid supply chain diagnostics software that enables immediate operational intervention, eliminating maintenance downtime caused by supply chain delays and unavailability of parts;
- Wi-Tronix – has an immersive, real-time IoT platform that enables railroads and transit systems to continuously improve operations, safety practices, and service reliability; and
- Widesense – provides real-time AI optimized actionable guidance to fleet operator dispatch and maintenance teams for optimized work assignments and charging schedules.
Transit agency participants in the Challenge include the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), NJ TRANSIT, the New York City Department of Transportation, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.