An Insight Into a Better Future: GRIDSMART’s Bill Malkes

Bill Malkes, GRIDSMART

Bill Malkes, GRIDSMART

With the ITS America Annual Meeting now just weeks away, we spoke to some key players in the space to understand their interpretation of this year’s overarching theme – A Better Future Transformed by Intelligent Mobility, Safer. Greener. Smarter.

Since the event is being held in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., we also dig into some of the conference program highlights, namely the “seamless mobility around the movement of people, data and freight and how innovative business models can flourish in the new age of mobility.”

Ginny Acosta and John Lower, ITSDC2019 Communications Committee members, asked several ITS America leaders about their thoughts on emerging tech and data.

First up: Board of Directors member Bill Malkes, Co-Founder and CEO of GRIDSMART Technologies, Inc.

IBM estimates that less than 1% of the data that the world is emitting is actually collected and analyzed. How can ITS America inspire transportation agencies to analyze and use this “dark data” (data that has been collected, but not yet analyzed)?

ITS America can lead by advocating:

First – Dedicate funding for data collection.  There are a plethora of organizations trying to monetize data collected on someone’s else dime.  We will never achieve full and rich data without the proper funding mechanisms to put infrastructure in place (virtual or physical) to connect meaningful data.

Second - Create forums and communication vehicles in which examples and / or roadmaps are made available in how to use data (dark or otherwise) in real world applications vs. academic or theoretical.

Third - Educate and advance cyber protection protocols for gathering, using and transmitting data.

Should agencies be required to mandate that data be provided with all new capital projects?

No - data is a personal choice for communities. Requiring data purchases could be perceived as companies trying to gain a competitive advantage instead of determining what products people truly need. Agencies should have the opportunity to purchase data that provides information to improve their traffic patterns. ITS America can certainly advocate for funding and educate on the benefits of data, but forced solutions are counter to innovation.

How do you define the future of mobility?

Radical change necessitating the end of past funding and past industry practices with migration to an information and digital future.

How do you see ITS America’s role in this future?

ITS America can drive the national conversation on the importance of migrating to an information infrastructure and the corresponding cybersecurity risk. The effort is further enhanced by the education of policymakers. Internally, we can help traditional members adapt and move the agenda forward.

Views expressed in the ITSDC2019 Annual Meeting Blog do not necessarily reflect the policy or opinion of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America and should not be interpreted as official association statements.

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