This startup collects DC foot traffic data from ridesharing dashboards - DC


Aug. 22, 2017 11:14 am

This startup collects DC foot traffic data from ridesharing dashboards

Kerb Technologies works with ridesharing drivers who mount a dashcam, and uses computer vision to analyze the images.

Stephen Buko and Dr. Richard Burg of Kerb.

(Courtesy photo)

With cameras mounted to the dashboard of cars, a D.C.-based startup is looking to help local businesses figure out how much foot traffic is in a given area.

Kerb Technologies is enlisting ridesharing drivers to travel with GoPro cameras, founder Stephen Buko said. The cameras, which are provided in a kit to drivers, create images of what’s on the street.

Once the images are produced, the company utilizes computer vision to analyze the images for foot and car traffic in the area. The technology can recognize the shape of a person or car, and count that as a data point. Computer vision doesn’t identify specific people, but looks for the shape of a person, Buko said.

“The quality of the images is 4K and it’s basically street view pictures,” Buko said. The images are currently processed with one or two hours, but Buko said the company would like to develop real-time capabilities.

Kerb can then produce reports on foot and car traffic for organizations such as Business Improvement Districts who want that data.

“The market for urban analytics and urban data is actually tremendous,” Buko said.

Kerb's dashcam. (Courtesy photo)

Kerb’s dashcam. (Courtesy photo)

Buko said more than 1,000 drivers signed up so far. It’s a way to supplement their income, as the company pays $3 an hour.

Buko founded the company about eight months ago after working in the more corporate world of aerospace engineering. He teamed with Dr. Richard Burg, who is now the company’s CTO. The small team is now working at 1776, and Buko said he’s been connecting with D.C. tech community at meetups and other events.

“Everyone’s been very helpful,” he said.

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