IRIS, Winner of the 2022 Edition of the IRF Start-up Label

IRIS, Winner of the 2022 Edition of the IRF Start-up Label

After a thorough selection process that closed on 31st August 2021, the IRF announced during the its Annual Conference 2022 held in Marrakech on 6 October, the winner of the 2022 Edition of the IRF Start-up Label: IRIS

The IRF Start-up Label is an initiative launched by the International Road Federation (IRF) in 2021, with the objective of supporting the most prominent start-ups in the sector and give the transport sector that much-needed boost for innovation and change.  

Awarded Start-ups will benefit from IRF’s most valuable assets for three consecutive years: unique knowledge and expertise, broad networking capabilities, and extensive data services. 

We asked the IRIS team some questions about their product and team. Here is what they told us: 

1. What problem is IRIS trying to solve, and how are you doing it?

Maintenance is critical to the safety and resilience of our infrastructure, yet most technology that gathers asset condition data is expensive or impractical at scale. Our award-winning solution enables infrastructure owners and operators to monitor concessions at a lower cost by using dash cameras with artificial intelligence (AI) to detect events, hazards, and defects in real time. Roadway data is automatically collected by patrol fleets equipped with our AI dashcams and is uploaded to our proprietary data pipelines where it is processed into actionable insights and visualised to our client’s existing systems, requirements, and specifications.  

Additional benefits to the technology includes frequent reporting on industry standard pavement assessment indexes, right-of-way inventories and assessments and real time mobility data such as vehicle, ped and bike counts, all in one pass. 

Solving the data gap in concessions and roads management is our focus and we have worked extremely hard in ensuring that our solutions drive bottom line impact and contribute to ESG aspirations of our clients and partners.

2. What is motivating the IRIS team to grow and scale rapidly?

The transport sector is responsible for a quarter of the world’s greenhouse emissions, 75% of which come from road transport. Increasingly, extreme heat and storms are putting roads, bridges, water systems and other infrastructure under stress. The Covid-19 pandemic added another dimension to these existing challenges and highlighted the need for sustainable, and practical technologies that help build better, more resilient infrastructure and proactively maintain existing assets to enhance quality and resilience. 

This ongoing transformation, recovery and resiliency are fuelled by the “oil” of the 21st century, Data. IRIS is committed to delivering to policymakers, concessionaires, and infrastructure owners the data they need to prioritise infrastructure maintenance and investments intelligently, objectively, and sustainably – and the time to act is now.  

What excites us here at IRIS is that the roads industry recognises the need for urgency and has embraced our technology as a part of a greater strategy to de-carbonise their operations, optimise their fleets, and proactively maintain their assets. IRIS is well poised to rapidly capitalise on this ongoing market shift towards automation, digitalisation, and long-term sustainability. 

Tell us more about the IRIS team.

The IRIS team is composed of civil engineers, geospatial and computer scientists who are all passionate in ensuring that the infrastructure we invest in today will fit the needs of present and future generations.

Where do you see IRIS in 10 years?

IRIS is committed to take the roads, tunnels, and concessions industry towards the 21st century and beyond. In 10 years we see IRIS as the premier provider of smart cities’ data encompassing government, infrastructure, transportation, utilities, natural resources, renewable energy, and other verticals. Moreover, we are capitalising on the global movement towards zero-emission vehicles by 2030 and are partnering with auto manufacturers to integrate IRIS’ technology into in-cabin camera systems of connected, autonomous and electrified vehicles to automatically collect critical pavement, right-of-way and infrastructure asset data through our proven shared revenue model. 

Embedding IRIS’ technology into the connected vehicles of the future will enable unprecedented data collection at a massive scale – enabling real time roadway data queries and infrastructure assessments, eliminating entire patrol and inspection fleets and reducing carbon footprints of governments and concessionaires globally.

Together with the Global Infrastructure Hub, the International Road Federation, and our global partners, our mission is to improve the lives of people around the world who just like us depend on reliable, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure to move forward. 

Anouar Benazzouz, IRF President (left), and Emil Sylvester Ramos, CEO of IRIS (right).
VP of Data Ops Haseeb Malik turning waste trucks into data collection vehicles at City of Hamilton, Canada
VP of Technology Kevin Xia inside a road inspection patrol vehicle in City of Guelph, Canada
Emil Sylvester Ramos (CEO) with Co-founder and CAO David Keaney (right) and COO, Julio Villalta

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