Intelligent Transportation Ecosystem

IoT, ITS, and the Talksum Ecosystem

We want self-driving smart cars!

Dale Russell, CTO, Talksum, San Jose


We’ve been hearing a lot about of Internet of Things (IoT) for the last decade. IoT is coming, IoT is here, IoT and Big Data…


Many of the people talking about IoT are from the computer industry. They’re selling us on a new market valued around $1.7 Trillion in 2020. While convincing us to invest in the IoT sector they will then point to a repackaging of a computer or data center solution. You can buy several brands of set top-media players listed as an IoT device. Upon further inspection they’re a small computer with a HDMI connector and a wireless network card connecting to a web service. Smart watches are but Bluetooth devices for your smart phone; a computer accessory. We have gone from Internet Hosting, Web Services, Cloud Services, and now IoT by  just a release of smaller computers and distributed web services?


That’s beginning to change and the consumers will be driving the market so to speak. We want self-driving smart cars! Automobile manufactures old and new are all working on developing self-driving modules, most governments want Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), and we as the consumer want gadgets!


What gadget is cooler than self-driving cars?


The consumer’s desire is to also bring infotainment and entertainment, social groups, smart devices, as well as personal data contracts and other services along for the ride. When you combine all the wants of the consumer we have the beginning of the Digital Transportation Eratm. We want self driving cars, traffic re-routing for first responders, reduced traffic congestion, quieter roads, and cleaner air. With all of these wonderful goals the automobile has become the consumers’ mobile data center bringing all of the same security concerns as an internet data center and many more. Automobile manufacturers, government and regulatory bodies, insurance and telematics services, and internet media providers all bring their own protocols into this new mobile data center. The new Smart Car will need to be considered part of the larger ITS and IoT clouds.

Intelligent Transportation Ecosystem

To meet the challenges of the Digital Transportation Eratm the vehicle needs to be an integral part of these new ecosystems. The Intelligent Transportation Systems will include new networks, data management, and new standards and protocols such as: Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I), Signal Phase and Timing (SPaT), and many yet to be legislated. These signals must be introduced in a manner that ensures validity and security to protect against DDoS attacks against these public networks. The introduction of Internet Services, Fleet Management, Insurance, and Telematics into this mobile data cloud also requires that firewalls and gateways are needed to ensure that the automobile is securely protected.


Automobiles already generate large streams of data from in-vehicle busses measured in gigabytes an hour. The additional radios, GPS, mobile carriers, infotainment systems, and self-driving systems will make data management and security to this new mobile cloud platform a must.


Some of the Challenges:


  • Cybersecurity Protection from DDoS, Man in the Middle, and other Internet Attacks
  • Real-time Validation and Insights from these Data Streams
  • Normalization of Standards and Protocols (CAN, LIN, I2C, WAVE, OpenXC, ASN.1…)
  • Extensible Design for Future Standards and Protocols (NHTSA)
  • Regulation Compliance


At Talksum we deliver a real-time scalable ecosystem that answers these concerns. Talksum is a Data Routing Engine that is deliverable as a Data Center solution, as a Virtual Router for Cloud deployment, as well as Embedded on select ARM, AARCH64, and customers’ boards. The Talksum product family provides a scalable and holistic ecosystem from the Dashboard to the Data Center.


We will be presenting this spring and summer at several conferences where will be discussing the Talksum Ecosystem. Until then follow this blog as next we will discuss the overlaps of the above networks and ecosystem requirements.

Saving Lives Through Cross-Domain Alerts During Natural Disasters

Alex Varshavsky

Alex Varshavsky, CEO, Talksum

The strongest earthquake in 25 years rocked the Bay Area and California’s wine country last weekend – igniting fires, outing electricity, damaging wineries, causing floods, cracking historical buildings, and closing down local shops and restaurants. More than 100 people were sent to hospitals from the 6.1 quake, which was centered in American Canyon, just 35 miles from the Talksum headquarters.

Napa EarthquakeThere was no warning given during the temblor, which occurred at 3:30 am on Sunday, August 23. There was, however, a warning system that was in place and worked, according to the local press. Ten seconds before the shaking started, a computer at the University of California, Berkeley, sent out a warning from their seismological laboratory, which can detect when an earthquake starts within the earth’s crust minutes before the shaking hits the surface.

The earthquake alert system, which is used by the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) to halt trains automatically upon earthquake detections of high magnitude, works today but isn’t available to the public because of a lack of government funding. Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law that ordered a “ShakeAlert” system using the technology developed by UC Berkeley and the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with scientists at the California Institute of Technology and the University of Washington. A lack of funding has halted this system, as it would cost about $100 million to build and test.

If such a system existed and could be applied across multiple domains such as the public sector, transportation, and energy, to name a few, real-time alerts could then be useful for first responders, emergency services, hospital readiness, traffic management, road conditions, potential power outages, public safety issues, insurance systems, commercial vehicle operations, service centers, and so on. More importantly, it could save lives during catastrophes and disasters.

Today, the real-time Talksum Data Stream Router, or TDSR, provides the basis for an alert system such as this – at a fraction of the cost. The TDSR handles most types of incoming data – including sensor data – from disparate sources. Data can consist of structured, semi-structured, or non-structured formats. Once ingested, the TDSR transforms, aggregates, enriches, filters, data reduces, and contextually routes – in real time and simultaneously – alerts, as well as other actionable data, to multiple downstream systems, including dashboards, storage, business intelligence tools, and databases.

The TDSR is highly configurable, can be easily deployed for highly specialized solutions without the need for specialized coding, and includes the foundational components for regulatory compliance, government standards, and policy control.

Not only can the Talksum solution save lives through cross-domain alerts, it also offers security controls that span firewalls, intrusion detection systems, anti-virus and anti-malware systems, network devices, server hosts, applications, physical systems, and more to eliminate the problems before they happen.

Click here for more information about Talksum solutions

U-2 Spy Plane Causes LAX to Shut Down; Could Have Been Avoided

Alex VarshavskyAlex Varshavsky, CEO, Talksum

A few weeks ago, I was at the San Jose Airport (SJC) waiting for a commuter flight to Los Angeles (LAX) when a voice came over the loud speaker to announce that the flight had been cancelled. Passengers were told to take a shuttle bus to the San Francisco Airport (SFO) and proceed from there. The next day, I searched for reasons why the flight was cancelled and found out that data from a U-2 spy plane’s flight plan “confused software” that helps track and route aircraft around the region.

When that system failed, a backup helped safely guide flights already in the air, but hundreds of flights across the nation headed for Southern California were either cancelled or delayed as the air traffic control facility north of Los Angeles effectively rebooted.

U-2 Spy Plane Causes LAX to Shut Down; Could Have Been AvoidedIn an Associated Press article, it was reported that the spy plane, which was conducting training operations in the area, flies at about 60,000 feet under “visual rules.” According to the FAA, a computer perceived a conflict between the altitude and the use of visual flight rules, and began trying to route the plane to 10,000 feet to avoid flight collisions. The number of adjustments that would need to be made to the routes of other planes throughout the area overwhelmed the software.

When the system went down, air traffic controllers had to manually call their counterparts at other centers to update them on each plane’s flight plan.

The Talksum Data Stream Router (TDSR) handles cases such as this through its real-time, cross-domain data management function. Not only would the TDSR ingest data, filter it, and route the alerts, in real time, to the various air traffic controllers, it would also reduce the data so as not to overload the system and overwhelm the software and, simultaneously, route the complete data stream to another database for analysis and archiving.

A single TDSR processes millions of complex events per second, in real time, and simplifies the data management process by making it easy to monitor, analyze data, and send alerts in real time while significantly reducing the cost of post-acquisition, ETL integration, and distribution. It is highly configurable without the need for specialized coding to deploy highly specialized solutions such as this. In addition, the Talksum Data Stream Router includes foundational components for regulatory compliance, government standards, and policy control.

Click here for more information about the TDSR, or visit our Contact Us form to request a meeting.


Talksum Connected Vehicle Update and the ICCVE, Las Vegas

Dale Russell, Talksum CTODale Russell, CTO, Talksum

Thanksgiving is over and we’ve feasted and said our thanks. Now it’s time to hit the road full speed ahead – literally. This week, we’re attending the International Conference on Connected Vehicles & Expo (ICCVE) in Las Vegas. The conference/expo, which runs all week, focuses on Connected Vehicles as an emerging technical field that crosses multiple disciplines and industries including automotive, travel & transportation, information technology, communications, consumer electronics, industrial electronics, media & entertainment, energy & utilities, insurance, and others.

By connecting vehicles with various devices, services, and participants, mobility will be more enjoyable, sustainable, and most importantly safe. More than 2,000 experts, practitioners, and policy makers from all around the world will present the latest innovations and advances on connected vehicles, share experience and insights, forecast the trends and opportunities, and discuss the policy, economics, and social implications.

I will be participating with other key industry leaders from 4-6 pm, Thursday, Dec. 5, to share our activities with other connected vehicle activities in Southeast Michigan. The session will include the following:

  • Chair Greg Krueger, manager of the U.S. DOT Southeast Michigan Connected Vehicle Test Bed, and program manager of the Connected Vehicle at Leidos.
  • Debby Bezzina, senior program manager, University of Michigan Transportation Institute.
  • Lee Mixon, president and founder of Mixon Hill.
  • Walton Fehr, manager of systems engineering, Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO).
  • Tom Lusco, senior systems engineer, National ITS Architecture Team and lead developer of CVRIA Enterprise Viewpoint.
  • Frank Perry, project manager at Leidos.

This influential group will discuss the activities associated with all development, deployment, operations, and maintenance of ITS throughout the State of Michigan.

This summer, Talksum unveiled its V2V and V2I Digital Short-Range Communications (DSRC) data processing, management, and analytics solution for the connected vehicle. Designed to accelerate real-time decisions, the Talksum solution improves data acquisition and transformation, and converts data into flexibly managed event streams, tailored for V2V and V2I DSRC systems.

We’re proud to be a part of the important DOT ITS initiatives, and our solution is a perfect fit as the Talksum Data Stream Router (TDSR) handles data sets at both the vehicle level and/or the data center level and can format data in real time, as well as enrich data by correlating events with other external data sources. The TDSR filters, data reduces, monitors, aggregates, enriches, analyzes, and routes live streams to power, in real time, data sensor information such as engine performance, braking, travel direction, velocity, road conditions, and other vehicle and safety needs.

In addition, the Talksum solution makes information available in real time across multiple domains (i.e., across multiple areas of expertise or knowledge) for true effectiveness. It’s extremely important that real-time information streams can cross the Transportation, Public Network, and Energy domains. For example, let’s say a severe thunderstorm is forming. In this case, a severe thunderstorm warning (Public Network domain) notifies power companies (Energy domain) of potential outages, which notifies drivers (Transportation domain) of potential road condition changes. Transportation has an impact on every aspect of our lives with public safety and security as a primary concern. Using information from the other two domains (in this scenario, Public Network and Energy), the Transportation domain can enhance first responders’ effectiveness, traffic congestion, shipping and receiving, supply chain scheduling, manufacturing, and so on.

If you are attending the ICCVE event this week, let us know so that we can set up a meeting to discuss the future of the connected car together. If you can’t make it, feel free to contact us and we’ll make it a point to get in touch with you.