The Sky Guys and partners to develop UAS platform to monitor highways in Ontario



A Canadian provider of UAS technology and systems called The Sky Guys has teamed up with NVIDIA, IBM and the University of Toronto to develop an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled UAS platform to monitor Ontario’s 400-series highways, in response to the Vehicle Occupancy Detection Problem Statement from the Small Business Innovation Challenge.

Working closely with the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) to develop this platform, the entities will complete this application, known as the “Long-Range AI-Enabled Unmanned Aerial System for Highway Traffic Enforcement with Future Road Applications,” using a $750,000 award from Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), as part of the Small Business Innovation Challenge (SBIC).

Over the next two years while the entities work together with the MTO on this project, OCE will administer funding on behalf of the Ontario government.

“OCE is proud to deliver the Small Business Innovation Challenge on behalf of the Ontario government,” says Tom Corr, President and CEO of OCE.

“The program will support Ontario-based, technology-driven SMEs in their mission to develop and test innovative technology solutions for public sector challenges. In Ontario, small businesses are at the heart of emerging trends and cutting-edge research, and act as a key part of the supply chain bringing innovation from ideation to market across industries.”

During the project, The Sky Guys will work with the MTO to test UAS equipped with AI for highway enforcement and management, starting with High-Occupancy Vehicle/High-Occupancy Toll (HOV/HOT) lanes.

Adam Sax, President and CEO of The Sky Guys, says, “this is very exciting for us. Ontario is the hub of innovation in Canada, so we are very honored to be selected for this amazing project.”

Ian Hull of Hull and Hull LLP, which is a new member of The Sky Guys’ board of directors, speaks highly about The Sky Guys, and all of the work that the company has done leading up to this point.

“The growth and momentum of The Sky Guys have been remarkable,” Hull says.

“New products such as the DX-3 are being developed, the amazing success of the Second Annual Big Drone Show, an oversubscribed private placement with a major investment from Fairfax Financial earlier this year, and now this project with the Province of Ontario is just more proof that The Sky Guys are Canada’s leader in drone technology.”

Angela Schoellig, a professor at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, echoes Hull’s sentiments, saying, “The Sky Guys are leveraging the latest advances in aircraft controls, AI, and cloud security to offer a safe, privacy-protected, and reliable package for billing and enforcing HOV/HOT lanes. We’re extremely excited to work with The Sky Guys on sharing our latest research to support the project.”