VisuaLogistic Technologies Inc. of Fayetteville is one of the nine startups competing for a potential $150,000 payday in the second installment of the ARK Challenge accelerator, and its traffic warning system just could be the hit of the show.
VisuaLogistic will pitch as part of the invitation-only Demo Day Thursday at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.
UA grad and CEO Brett Schaefer came up with the idea after getting rear ended on 540 by a trucker who had no forewarning that traffic ahead was stopped.
His “Wireless Traffic Congestion and Hazardous Condition Detection and Warning System” is patent pending and being tested out by the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department.
Here’s more from the UA Newswire:
The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department purchased 12 units this summer to test the system’s performance. If successful, the system could be installed throughout Arkansas and in other states, Schaefer said.
“We’re really excited about the opportunity,” he said. “We need to make sure it is durable.”
The system comprises a network of sensors that detects traffic congestion and other hazardous conditions and wirelessly communicates the information to neighboring devices that will notify drivers in advance of the hazard, Schaefer said. The system can also compile traffic-flow statistics and send them to a centralized data hub, he said.
Each roadside device has a light that flashes different colors to alert drivers, such as yellow for traffic that has slowed but not completely stopped. The devices, which are mainly solar-powered, are designed to be placed a quarter of a mile apart, he said. The communications network is “self-healing,” meaning that if one machine is knocked out, the service to the others won’t be interrupted.
“The lifetime of these devices, battery-wise, is 25 to 30 years,” he said. “On current digital message boards they change the batteries every couple of days.”
What an awesome idea. Again, read the full story here. And here’s VisuaLogistic featured in CNN Money’s recent piece on hot Arkansas startups.
Stay tuned. Lots more to come on Demo Day…