Inrix, a transportation analytics firm based in Kirkland, Washington, has released a platform for cities and road authorities to digitize, manage and communicate local rules on the roadway, at the curb and on the sidewalk.
The solution expands on an existing autonomous vehicle rulebook that helps cities stay current with new transportation services that are reshaping the ways in which people and goods move around.
“Today’s cities are facing an identity crisis – they are working with 20th-century transportation tools but are facing 21st-century challenges,” said Avery Ash, head of autonomous mobility at Inrix. “By providing a framework to bridge the data gap between cities, road users and mobility providers – including automated driving systems – Inrix helps cities remain in the driver’s seat for managing transportation.”
The latest edition of the platform moves beyond the firm’s digital roadway rulebook for automated driving systems. The tool includes support for guidelines that enable other mobility options such as loading zones and parking restrictions for transportation network companies (TNCs), dockless bike/scooter zones, and city infrastructure like fire hydrants and EV charging stations.
“As cities think about how to engage with new mobility services and increasingly connected consumers, a missing piece is not having a digital record of the rules that apply to a city,” Ash told FreightWaves. “That makes for frustrated and confused road users.” INRIX is providing a platform for municipalities to build and maintain a database of rules, he said, so that cities can then make the information available to all users as part of broader commitments to open data.
Inevitably, third parties will use the data to build apps and other applications, Ash said. The data can also help provide common ground between cities and private-sector transportation companies that are often locked in battles over safety and access.
“A lot of [mobility] entrants are painting a long-term, Shangri-La transportation vision,” said Ash. “We think the pathway to that sort of an endgame starts with foundational steps, for a future that is increasingly going to rely on data. So there is an opportunity for this sort of project to start a helpful conversation with TNCs and scooter providers that are looking to use the public right of way.”