Based in California and founded in 2018, startup company Lacuna Technologies is a smart transportation service provider for smart cities. The company uses open-source software to help cities and airports manage and forecast traffic without having to use traditional methods such as paint, cones, and signs.
Founder and CEO, Hugh Martin, survived cancer in 2010, which led him establishing contact with more people. This created a community that focuses on solving the problems of modern cities. Taking its idea from the Latin word Lacuna which means a gap or an empty space, Martin wanted to fill the gap between the needs of people and the chaos in cities.
“Until recently, city governments simply lacked the data and the tools to manage and regulate these new forms of mobility. This is where Lacuna comes in…” – @ABI_Bonte of @ABIresearch in @govtechnews.
— Lacuna Technologies (@TechLacuna) July 20, 2021
Martin doesn’t see COVID-19 as a problem. In fact, he says that the pandemic “has made the problem all the more clear.” This problem of navigating through cities while maintaining social distancing, barring some areas for vehicular traffic, and off-limiting some regions for emergency purposes paved the way for Lacuna to provide this solution.
Visualizing traffic data on the ground and in air
COVID-19 has taught the human race the importance of the optimal use of public spaces not only in cases of deadly viruses but also to safeguard oneself from all the general contagious diseases, even after the quarantine and lockdowns are lifted. Lacuna helps people see space per population density in cities and access to amenities like nearest hospitals, restaurants, and transit options.
The ‘social distancing density’ is a tool that Lacuna uses to measure the available public spaces while maintaining a distance of six feet between people. The user can drag and drop the region of the city to know which areas, streets, or sidewalks would be the safest for people to walk to reach destinations like offices, schools, or hospitals.
The Lacuna software allows its operators to dynamically set parking reservation time, cost, and model future usage based on traffic patterns, time of day, and the preferences of people both on the streets and at airports. The hope of the company is to have a dynamic change to create an ecosystem that will curb the congestion problems and increase the air quality. This is what sets it apart from digital maps.
Undoubtably, digital technologies have transformed private industry. Now, pioneers in city government are championing a digital transformation of their own, all for transportation equity. Read more in our latest blog by John Ellis https://t.co/9xwjmYxDGE #mobility #equity #cities pic.twitter.com/7mXaOAsxqX
— Lacuna Technologies (@TechLacuna) August 4, 2020
Code is the new concrete
Not everything can have a “tech fix.” This is what encouraged Martin to merge tech and humans’ natural problem-solving capabilities together. The company believes that “code is the new concrete”. At the moment, Lacuna’s open-source codes are available on Github which will help create ecosystems around the world to predict future transportation in cities that are getting smarter.
If you are interested in collaborating with Lacuna, you can get in touch with them right away. To begin with, you will need at least need Postgres and PostGIS extension. In order to visualize your data, you will need to install Mapbox. For drag and drop visualization, you’d need Kepler.gl. For other features like prototyping, and maintaining quality checks you would require Figma and QGIS respectively.
YouTube: A Conversation with Hugh Martin of Lacuna Technologies