ITS Canada Awards Celebration 2024

ITS Canada Awards Celebration 2024

The Intelligent Transportation Society of Canada (ITS Canada) recently celebrated the 8 winners in 4 different categories of the ITS Canada Awards: Member of the Year Awards, Intelligent Mobility Awards, Excellence in R&D Awards, Young Professional Award and a Special Recognition Award. 


Distinguished Member of the Year Award

Ms Brigid Canil, BC Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure 

Brigid Canil is the recipient of the 2024 Distinguished  Member of the Year Award. For more than 25 years, the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has been a leader in designing and deploying ITS solutions across the Province.  As Lead of the Electrical and ITS group, and now in her role as Director, Transportation Systems and Road Safety Engineering, Brigid has been at the forefront of these provincial ITS projects.  Throughout her entire career, she has championed the benefits of the industry, promoted innovation, and overseen the delivery of effective and industry-leading ITS projects.  To name just a few, this includes major initiatives such as: Border ATIS, Lions Gate Bridge, George Massey Tunnel, Cassiar Tunnel, and Alex Fraser Bridge Reversible Lane Control Systems, Fraser River ATIS, Highway 3 Wildlife Detection Systems, Highway 37A Automated Avalanche Detection System, Provincial DMS and Webcams, Provincial Variable Limit Speed System, Regional Travel Time System, RBRC Rail Crossing Information System, Regional Fibre Optic Deployment, Transportation Management Centre BC (TMC-BC). 

Brigid has volunteered extensively with ITS Canada, chairing Technical Committees, participating on Local Organizing Committees, and contributing to technical discussions, as well as volunteering with and chairing TAC’s ITS sub-Committee.  Brigid’s work in ITS has measurably improved the Province’s Road Network operations and public safety, and she has contributed meaningfully and substantially to the advancement of the industry.  We cannot think of a more worthy recipient.  In particular, recognizing her extensive contributions both professionally and for the ITS Annual  conference, in the region where she works, would be a special opportunity.


Distinguished Member of the Year Award - ITS Champion in an Organization

Frank Leung

Frank Leung is the recipient of the Distinguished ITS Canada Member of the Year- ITS Champion in an organization Award. Frank has been greatly instrumental in partnering with Cities and Municipalities to bring a different perspective for ITS and Vision Zero over the past few years. With the vision that Frank had, he was able to embrace the challenge of introducing the Internet of Things (IoT) to the ITS arena. Frank took the time to learn the ITS industry, customer needs and become a true champion in aligning his organization and the required investments for the Transportation and Mobility industry. As a champion of the ITS industry, Frank spearheaded 2 events on behalf of ITS Canada with a Technology Innovation Forum and Regional Summit in Toronto that attracted over 250 attendees, which had the local political support from the City of Toronto and the province through the Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network. Frank continues to champion the broader ITS vision whereby seeding ideas for new ecosystems and technologies in early planning stages and solutions.


2024 Mobility Award for Data Driven Transport Outcomes 

Powering sustainable commuting solutions through technology, insights and incentives, Commutifi and Translink

The Powering sustainable commuting solutions through technology, insights and incentives project is the winner of the 2024 Mobility Award for Data Driven Transport Outcomes. Metro Vancouver’s regional transportation authority, TransLink, and TravelSmart teamed up with Commutifi, a leading commute software company, to tackle the issue of green house and carbon emissions. Together, they launched a commute management and rewards program designed to help major employers (TransLink, Vancity, Metro Vancouver Government, Deloitte, and the University of British Columbia) in the region reduce the environmental impacts of commuting. During the 18 months of the program, the program monitored the scale of commuter emissions and measured and reduced drive-alone rates. Working with a network of mobility service providers, Commutifi and TransLink offered partner employer programs and incentives to cut the environmental impact of commuting. The goal of the pilot program is to develop a blueprint for others in North America to draw from to drive behavior change among commuters, minimize the economic and environmental impacts of commuting, and improve employee health, productivity, recruitment, and retention. James Ranson from Translink and Esteban Sanchez from Commutify accepted the award.


2024 Mobility Award for Green Transportation/Climate Action 

Safety-Enabled Adaptive Lighting (SEAL), Invision AI

The Safety-Enabled Adaptive Lighting (SEAL) project is the winner of the 2024 Mobility Award for Green Transportation/Climate Action. Safety-Enabled Adaptive Lighting, aka SEAL enables adaptive lighting on motorways to generate energy savings of up to 70%. SEAL is a situationally-aware system that fuses data from multiple sources - including real-time weather conditions that effect visibility and high-integrity automatic incident detection generated by AI-powered cameras -- to determine the safest lighting level set point with the maximum energy saving. The adaptive lighting system, combined with the energy performance of the LED lights already fully implemented on the highways, will allow to reduce the highway’s annual energy consumption for night lighting by up to 75%. The AI engine is driving these revolutionary methods to optimize and reduce operational costs driving the achievement of Net Zero Emission for Road Operators.This award was accepted by Karim Ali and Samuel Orn, Invision AI.


2024 Mobility Award for Connected and Automated Vehicles

Automated HD Map Production for Self-Driving Vehicles using LiDAR and AI: Large Scale Deployment in Dubai, Nektar 3D Consulting

The Automated HD Map Production for Self-Driving Vehicles using LiDAR and AI: Large Scale Deployment in Dubai project is the winner of the 2024 Mobility Award for Connected and Automated Vehicles. Over the past number of years, the Dubai Municipality is transitioning towards full digitalization and smart mobility. This has included digital twining of the city’s assets and the creation of HD Maps to support Autonomous Driving. Traditionally, the HD map production process is a highly tedious and time-consuming process. As a result, to overcome the challenges associated with manual creation of HD maps, the Dubai Municipality awarded a contract to Nektar 3D Consulting Inc to deploy its state-of-the-art AI and machine learning algorithms to automate the process. The end-to-end HD map workflow developed by Nektar 3DC facilitated much more efficient and accurate processing of complex LiDAR datasets collected by the municipality resulting in a simulation-ready HD map. Nektar 3DC’s approach was deployed on hundreds of kilometers on the busy streets of Dubai. The AI-driven approach marks a paradigm shift in the HD map creation industry and facilitates sustainable network-level HD map production. This project is a stellar example of ITS technology developed by a Canadian startup and being deployed on an international scale with the aims of streamlining Autonomous Vehicles technology. Dr. Suliman Gargoum accepted the award on behalf of Nektar 3D Consulting. 


2024 Mobility Award for Smart Mobility - Connected Infrastructure

Utilizing Artificial Intelligence for Automated System-Wide Transit Facility Inspection, York Region

The Utilizing Artificial Intelligence for Automated System-Wide Transit Facility Inspection project is the winner of the 2024 Mobility Award for Smart Mobility - Connected Infrastructure. The Regional Municipality of York (York Region) is home to over 1.2 million residents and 55,600 businesses across nine local municipalities, located north of Toronto in Ontario. York Region operates York Region Transit (YRT) across a service area of over 1,700 square kilometres (656 square miles) that supports 80,000 commuters per day on over 16 million annual trips. Proper maintenance of transit infrastructure is vital to ensure the safety and satisfaction of its passengers. With over 6,000 bus stops across York Region, many of which include transit shelters, benches, bike racks, waste/recycling receptacles, or community information kiosks, significant resources are required to track the condition of these amenities at any given time. 

In May 2023, York Region, installed nine CITYROVER AI smart camera system technology within its YRT fleet to automatically scan and inspect all bus stops on a given route.  The cameras and software were redesigned by CITYROVER to capture and analyze bus stop infrastructure. An opportunity was identified to adapt this existing technology to transit facility maintenance, repurposing CITYROVER and its artificial intelligence (AI) camera currently used for pothole detection. Rajeev Roy and Kirk Schuller accepted this award on behalf of York Region. 

An honorable mention was made for the Smart Mobility or Connected Infrastructure Award submission by Transnomis for development of the (Road Disruption Activity Reporting System) RoDARS Central for the City of Toronto.

2024 Excellence in R&D Award

Advancing Canadian Winter Road Safety and Mobility via AI-Empowered Intelligent
Transportation Systems, University of Alberta

The 2024 Excellence in R&D Award recipient is Advancing Canadian Winter Road Safety and Mobility via AI-Empowered Intelligent, Transportation Systems. U of A has embarked on a road safety first objective to support the Ministries and Department of Transportations to rely on AI speared decision-making process to ensure safe driving conditions during harsh winter periods. With evolving weather patterns and financial constraints limiting extensive deployment of Road Weather Information Systems, it became evident that there was a significant spatial monitoring gap. With the support of various transportation agencies, U of A is developing a RWIS image-based assessment tool called LoRWIS. 

LoRWIS utilizes both real-time and historical visual assessments from RWIS cameras to generate comprehensive road surface condition maps, effectively filling the large spatial gaps that exist between RWIS stations. As a multi-year project with over a million dollars of anticipated research funding, the proposed research will leverage extensive datasets from Alberta Transportation and the City of Edmonton to further develop LoRWIS into a decision support system specifically tailored for Canadian winters. By integrating diverse winter transportation big data such as RWIS and traffic camera imagery, maintenance records, and traffic demands, and applying advanced deep learning techniques, the project aims to significantly improve the accuracy of road condition assessments and produce road condition forecasts along with recommended maintenance operations. The ultimate goal is to create a groundbreaking Canadian smart maintenance decision support system that revolutionizes winter road maintenance, transitioning from labor-intensive methods to a sophisticated, data-driven advisory system for improved safety and mobility of all winter travelers. Prof. Tae Kwon accepted the award on behalf of the University of Alberta. 


2024 ITS Young Professional Award

Rupert Vey, PBX Engineering

Rupert Vey is a design technologist with PBX Engineering working out of our Victoria, BC office. He focuses primarily on large-scale, highly integrated Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) projects and provides domain expertise supporting a wide variety of projects within the Transportation and Integrated Systems business units. With over nine years of design experience, Rupert has gained a wealth of theoretical and hands-on knowledge in the design, construction, testing, integration, and support of ITS systems.  Working with provincial, municipal, and state transportation authorities on ITS implementation projects across North America has provided him with an in-depth understanding of the design and deployment processes. As is expected of a young professional continually gaining valuable experience, Rupert has expanded his expertise with each new challenge these projects afford. In particular, the major reversible lane control projects require a high degree of coordination amongst multiple stakeholders, client resources and the construction and traffic management contractors.  His expertise includes involvement in all aspects of major ITS projects, from conception to commissioning.  In particular, Rupert has demonstrated a strong capability to communicate and coordinate effectively on large, multi-disciplinary project teams with complicated stakeholder environments.  
Rupert is highly detail oriented, making him an asset during the design phase of a project as well as when he is called upon to provide remote or field testing and commissioning of complex ITS projects. Rupert’s extensive hands-on experience ensures that often overlooked aspects of a project are effectively addressed at the design stage to ensure a successful implementation. Several of Rupert’s projects, including some listed above, have received award recognition from the BC MoTI, Consulting Engineers of BC, and the Consulting Engineers of Alberta.  Rupert’s experience and expertise are more in line with someone with many more years of time in the industry.  He is a consummate professional who has made very significant contributions to the ITS industry.  Outside of work, Rupert spends time with volunteer organizations such as Cops for Cancer – various fundraising events and Athletic Leadership – volunteer coaching and refereeing of youth sports.


2024 Special Recognition Award

Foundations of Wisdom, Elder Whabagoon

Over the past two years, Elder Whabagoon has helped ITS Canada on multiple occasions with respect to the Toronto-based GTHA Summits and Technology Innovation Forum meetings that brought together as many as 250 local ITS Canada members to open the ceremonies and provide indigenous teachings at the commencement of each event. She has encouraged traffic engineering and technologist practitioners to think seriously about how truth and reconciliation factors into the decision-making aspects of their daily jobs. Most recently, Elder Whabagoon has assisted the organization in connecting with the local Elder’s in the Vancouver area that can likewise assist in providing teachings at the commencement of the ACGM about the importance of land, water and how best to engage indigenous peoples in the transportation decision-making process.

“ITS Canada is thrilled to recognize the 2024 winners’ contributions and achievements to the Canadian ITS marketplace and beyond. Congratulations to everyone on your achievements and being the winner of the 2024 ITS Canada award. We look forward to engaging with you in the future to drive forward the innovative transportation and mobility arena in Canada,” says Usha Elyatamby, Chair of the Awards Program. 

Usha Elyatamby
Chair 2024 Awards Program