Running the Innovation Marathon – Technology for Now and the Future
Rish Malhotra - President & CEO
IRD’s first 40 years were about innovation and creating community and strong customer relationships. From humble beginnings in our founder’s basement, we now have a footing in over 80 countries around the world, and, although developing technologies and deploying solutions involving commercial vehicle enforcement remains our core business, it’s in our DNA to look for opportunity.
An example is a trend, two decades ago, in Latin America and Asia to privatize infrastructure and highways via new models for the financing and management of tolled roads. We were at the forefront of the technological effort to develop a vehicle detection and classification system, a highway traffic management system, as well as integrated access control systems and border systems to help concessionaires collect tolls and recover and receive a return on their investments.
Along the way, we’ve branched into other sectors such as mines and ports, improving the safety and efficiency of these economically vital operations.
IRD is built on the adoption of new technologies
To develop systems for those markets, IRD combined Weigh-In-Motion (WIM) with other technologies, such as vehicle identification, payment systems, machine vision, and access control. More recently, we’ve applied Artificial Intelligence together with edge and cloud computing to enable systems to operate autonomously and provide previously unattainable data. We are currently using our remote monitoring platform to monitor the real-time performance and degradation of sensors. It’s these newer technologies, along with several others still in development and not yet commercialized, that will be our springboard to the future.
We’ve been very successful in the WIM niche — an achievement-driven not only by technical innovation but also by very strong relationships with customers, distributors, and researchers — but getting to where we want to be as a company means plugging into the hyper-connectivity and rapid product development which are going to characterize our society in the coming decades.
Meeting the challenge of rapid technology development
The pace of change is only going to increase and we’re going to be nimble.
Today’s successful companies that concentrate on providing systems and solutions provide a model for where IRD goes next. If we look at the technology companies that have grown through providing value to customers, we see that they’re not rooted, solely, in manufacturing hardware. They have the flexibility to adapt and the vision to anticipate where new customer needs are going to arise. We have adapted and have become far more open in terms of the technologies and sensors that we integrate into systems, and this is propelling us to the forefront of the industry.
Developments in communications technology are creating new mobility solutions
At IRD we see technologies like 5G becoming dominant communications technologies in the immediate future and a foundation for our next generation of intelligent transportation systems. Our vision for the next decade is to branch out into smart cities and other InfraTech areas.
This will be achieved through a combination of new capabilities generated from within the company itself and those achieved through acquisitions. Synergies and partnerships will also become increasingly important.
Building on past successes
To be successful, a company has to do at least one thing well and strive to be the best in that field. For us, that one thing is WIM, and our goal is to continue to be a global leader in technologies that improve road safety and enable governments to drive revenue. Via thought leadership we will continue to deploy our transportation technologies to deliver on a Vision Zero and Net-Zero commitment for a safer and greener future.
We will not lose our sense of legacy. Ours is one of innovation and we will carry that torch forward.
Working with our team and our customers, it’s important that we get this right. Change too much too soon, and all we’ll achieve is disconnect; go too slow and we’ll miss out on opportunities and fail to address our customer’s evolving needs.
Relationships are key
On the market side, we became a success because of the relationships and trust we built. That meant being there through the good times and the challenging times. We will maintain that. Within IRD, it means showing why change is needed, and how everyone has and will continue to contribute to successfully achieving our goals for the future.
We have a lot of people, families, and communities invested in this company, and as the technological environment changes, we’ll see our team rise to the challenge – renewing our commitment to innovate while benefiting from 40 years of creating relationships. Our team is made up of solid professionals who are experts in delivering mobility solutions. You get more from IRD than just products or systems. We have been “Customer Driven” for the whole of our history, and that makes a huge difference to our knowledge and capacity to deliver what our customers need.
The pace of change might quicken but our emphasis is on a marathon, not a sprint.
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