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Hamilton startup gets ‘big win’ with NYC transit pilot project

Kevin Talaue, Ravi Puvan, Kelly Moylan, Sasha Kucharczyk, and Ethan Jackson at Preteckt

From left, Kevin Talaue, Ravi Puvan, Kelly Moylan, Sasha Kucharczyk, and Ethan Jackson at Preteckt, a vehicle diagnostics company that has been chosen to collaborate on a transit pilot project in New York City. – Barry Gray , The Hamilton Spectator

Preteckt is one of two companies chosen to work on a year-long pilot project aimed at improving bus service in New York City.

The co-founder of a Hamilton startup chosen to collaborate on a transit pilot project in New York City calls the opportunity “a huge win.”

Preteckt, a startup company based in Hamilton and in Memphis, Tenn., working on vehicle predictive diagnostics, is one of two companies chosen to work on a yearlong pilot project aimed at improving bus service in the Big Apple.

“Knowing that we were able to excite them enough for them to dedicate extra time and resources to us was a huge win in our books,” said Sasha Kucharczyk, Preteckt co-founder and COO. “It is definitely exciting.”

The competition for the pilot project was stiff, with nearly 100 companies competing last fall for a chance to work with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s tech accelerator, called the Transit Tech Lab. Four of the six companies selected were later chosen to move forward with pilot projects; two will focus on subways and two — one being Preteckt — will focus on buses.

Preteckt’s pilot will use AI technology and transit data to identify patterns and recognize when a vehicle is approaching the point of needing repairs so the vehicle can be fixed earlier.

“Preteckt’s insights have the potential to reduce time spent on maintenance, prevent service disruptions and reduce fleet costs,” reads a news release from the MTA.

The MTA has long been plagued by service-related problems, including delays.

The pilot is a chance for the companies to “implement products that address key subway and bus challenges,” according to the MTA release.

David Carter, executive director of Hamilton-based Innovation Factory, a government-funded business accelerator, called the news “a big deal.”

“It’s exactly what we want to see,” he said. “If you’re going to be successful, you have to be successful on the worldwide stage. Canada is a pretty small market.”

Carter said Preteckt — which works with the Innovation Factory’s Centre for Integrated Transportation and Mobility — is proving to the international market that Canada has talent.

“It shows people what we can do,” he said.

Kucharczyk said his company won’t be paid for the pilot, but it will have a chance to test its technology and work with in-service transit vehicles, which is of value.

As for what will happen if the pilot project is deemed a success and Preteckt wants to continue work with the MTA, Kucharczyk said it would likely need to submit a proposal and compete with other companies.

katrinaclarke@thespec.com | 905-526-4629 | @katrinaaclarke

Source: www.thespec.com/news-story/9537242-hamilton-startup-gets-big-win-with-nyc-transit-pilot-project/

Portrait of Michael Marini

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