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ClearRoad Delivers Technology Solutions To Help Governments Manage 21st-Century Transportation Needs

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Below is our recent interview with Nadine Gutierrez, Marketing and Communications Lead at ClearRoad Inc.:

Q: Nadine, can you tell us something more about the company and its history?

A: ClearRoad was founded in 2017 on the belief that in order for us to keep up with managing and funding 21st-century transportation needs and trends, we need solutions that are agile, accurate, and affordable. Today, ClearRoad empowers governments with emerging technologies and digital tools that allow for road charging – such as tolling, congestion pricing, and pay-by-mile – at a fraction of the cost of older systems of deployment. This means that sophisticated ways to manage congestion or to collect revenue for the funding of roads and transportation are no longer limited to just wealthy cities, but we’re able to harness the power of today’s technology to make it accessible to cities of different sizes and contexts.

We’ve worked with pioneering US states such as Oregon and Washington, to test out the technology and policy for road usage charging. Now, we’re excited to try out and show our technology and congestion pricing solution in the City of Bogota, Colombia which was ranked one of the top most congested cities in the world.

Q: Any highlights on your recent announcement regarding the congestion pricing pilot you are doing with the City of Bogota, Colombia?

A: What we are doing in Bogota is something that has never been done before. We’re demonstrating a new way to think about how we execute traffic management and enforcement with whatever types of technology or data source is available to the city; for example, we can use car data, street camera data, or plug-in devices. In the case of Bogota, we opted to use a cell phone app to manage traffic because cellphones are so widely used and accepted. There’s no need for another device or new infrastructure. With a cellphone app, it can be deployed immediately, it is accessible, and it fits in seamlessly with people’s day-to-day activities.

The preliminary results coming out of the pilot is very promising. One thing we’ve seen, which is always a concern for governments when trying to implement new systems or policies, is wide user acceptance and positive feedback. We really emphasized making the experience as easy and seamless for drivers and commuters as possible. We are also excited to be delivering more congestion data to the City in order to give them the ability to make transportation decisions based on updated and accurate data.

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Q: Can you give us more insights into your offering?

A: The tools that ClearRoad offers enable next-generation road charging such as congestion pricing, digital tolling, pay-by-mile, and event truck permitting and management; allowing cities and governments to deploy traffic management systems and transportation funding programs at a lower cost and with a shorter time frame to implementation.

The great thing about the technology is the level of granularity and precision we can apply when it comes to traffic management. Previously, the way Congestion Pricing worked was that they would charge people a flat fee for entrance in a certain area or zone. Now, we have the ability to price each road with variable pricing: we can charge for use of main roads and not for neighborhood roads, and we can even change the price depending on the vehicle or time of day. There are so many possibilities and combinations! Allowing for a more customizable and adaptable traffic management solution. Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all and fixed traffic infrastructure, we now have a solution that changes along with the needs and demands of a city.

Another thing we highlight with our platform is the open architecture design that allows for our services to seamlessly integrate with other providers such as payment and billing platforms, or different data source providers and hardware. Our emphasis on open architecture allows us to work with any existing or preferred data points and payment providers for smoother integration that provides a full end-to-end road pricing solution: from data monitoring and gathering, rules processing, billing, and payment collection and reporting.

Q: What can we expect from your company in the next 6 months? What are your plans?

A: This year has been a great year for us here at ClearRoad. This 2022, we launched our first tolling solution in the State of California. The product, Ecotoll, allows users to pay for tolls via an app on their phone, eliminating the need for a transponder. The goal is to have one app that allows users to manage toll payments for different vehicles and for different toll roads across the US. In the next 6 months, we’re looking forward to providing our customers with even wider coverage on where they can pay their tolls with the app.

Beyond finalizing the results of the pilot with the City of Bogota, we also have some exciting congestion management projects in Lima, Peru that will again allow us to customize and test out our solution to the needs and goals of the city.

In the US, we are continuing to monitor the progress of IlJA and working on a few projects with some states and cities that are interested in exploring pay-per-mile fees to fund their transportation.

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Q: What is the best thing about your company that people might not know about

A: One of the best things about our company and what has really been a strength for us is the diversity of our staff and people. We are a global team of passionate forward thinkers and go-getters from diverse backgrounds. People come to the table with their own experiences and insight from their cities or countries when it comes to transportation and we compare notes on differences, pros and cons. The ideas are unique, creativity is welcome, and the out-of-the-box insight we are able to provide is what sets us apart from a traditional transportation consultant, for example.

We are also supported by great investors that allow us to push the envelope and redefine the way we think about transportation. With great support and great staff, we are able to think to the future, allowing us to create services and products that are future-proof and will grow with our changing transportation.

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