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PRESS RELEASE: NextEnergy To Pilot Smartcone’s Intelligent Intersection Safety Solutions In Grosse Pointe Park

By Posted on February 24, 2020

The pilot, funded by the NextChallenge: Smart Cities Grant Award, aims to protect vulnerable road users while accelerating the commercialization of this innovative technology.

Feb. 24, 2019 – Grosse Pointe Park, MI – NextEnergy has named Grosse Pointe Park as the pilot location for SmartCone Technologies’ innovative technology safety solution. SmartCone, an Ontario-based leading developer of a modular IoT (Internet of Things) eco-system, was the Demonstration Grant Award winner of NextEnergy’s NextChallenge: SmartCities.

NextEnergy President and CEO, Jim Saber explains, “NextChallenge SmartCities’ main goals are to build relationships between industry and city leaders, deploy promising solutions in real-world settings, and identify and create additional value from the deployment learnings. Through the management of the competition and by leveraging our experience in developing and managing public, private partnerships, our goals for NextChallenge SmartCities are being met with SmartCone and the City of Grosse Pointe Park”.

“Winning this challenge has enabled SmartCone not only to expand its technology portfolio but also to fulfill its innovative growth strategy to create its first subsidiary, of a series of subsidiaries that target a specific market and unite them under the SmartCone umbrella,” said Jason Lee, Founder and CEO of SmartCone. “AutoGuardian by SmartCone utilizes TheSmartConeTM platform to build out solutions surrounding intelligent infrastructure.”

Tenille Houston, CEO of AutoGuardian by SmartCone explains “ As part of this pilot, the city has traffic data insights, including the speed of vehicles and the amount of people/activations utilizing these two crosswalks, while simultaneously using artificial intelligence to detect pedestrians entering a zone and automatically send a signal to set off rapid flashing beacons, bringing immediate attention and visibility to oncoming motorists that the crosswalk is in use.”

NextEnergy and SmartCone have worked closely with Grosse Pointe Park’s director of Public Safety, Chief Stephen Poloni, and City Manager Nick Sizeland to identify two intersections where the modular platform has been installed. The intersections, one at St. Paul and Somerset and the other at the north end of Nottingham at Kercheval, are adjacent to two schools and a popular commercial and entertainment district. Since the Grosse Pointe Public School System does not provide bus transportation, students either walk, bike, or are driven to school, causing this particular area to be especially busy during peak rush hour and school drop off/pick up times.

“Working with NextEnergy and forward-thinking cities like Grosse Pointe Park, to put their citizens first and collaborate on new solutions to create safer roads for all is exciting and rewarding,” said Houston. “Our system not only provides a municipality with data collection to better understand mobility within their city, but also expands to create intelligent warning systems that are designed to give motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians the time they need to act and be safe.”

As for the city, Sizeland explains, “Grosse Pointe Park residents and public safety have been working together to identify ways to improve the safety of our kids and families going to school. When NextEnergy approached us as a possible pilot location, and we learned more about the potential of the AutoGuardian solution, we felt that this was not only a step towards fulfilling that promise but a chance to demonstrate the smart city technologies of the future right here.”

Please go to the video of technology demonstration at this link:


About NextEnergy

Founded in 2002 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and based in Detroit, NextEnergy works with innovators to accelerate smarter, cleaner, more accessible solutions for communities and cities. Since its inception, NextEnergy has worked with more than 400 companies, universities, federal agencies, and philanthropic organizations to drive more than $1.5 billion in advanced energy and mobility technology investments.

We demonstrate and pilot technologies in real-world environments to gather data and diverse user-experiences. This process helps us to quickly scale and deploy solutions by accelerating commercialization with a specific focus on smart mobility and smart grid.

Our depth of experience, technical knowledge, and an established network of partners have enabled us to develop effective programs and pilots and facilitate new relationships to help our clients achieve their commercialization goals.

Contact us today to learn how you can start transforming your ideas and technology into smarter, cleaner more accessible solutions to create a better quality of life for all. To learn more, visit or call 313.833.0100.

About SmartCone

SmartCone Technologies Inc. (SCTI) is a unique data sensory company that commercializes new Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies to power a wide array of sensors, with cognitive edge computing, sensor fusion, and artificial intelligence (AI) analytics. TheSmartCone™ modular IoT platform has been used securing dangerous worksites, smart city infrastructure, logistics, asset tracking, monitoring traffic incident scenes, crowd control, and site security surveillance. Visit us at

About AutoGuardian By SmartCone

AutoGuardian is paving the way in providing vulnerable road user safety for vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians. Specializing in deploying and operating intelligent infrastructure for bike lanes, crosswalks, and autonomous shuttle routes, the transportation industry will be forever changed. Let’s work together to make your city smarter and safer, and above all, make Vision Zero a reality.” Learn more at


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