Britain's first roadside mapping project

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Northumbrian Water vans are about to get a whole lot smarter as a result of a new project with Ordnance Survey and intel company Mobileye.
The water company has agreed to be the first UK utility to take part in a trailblazing pilot aimed at creating the country's first detailed roadside infrastructure dataset.

This dataset will provide users with a near real-time highly precise and detailed roadside asset location service on things like road markings, network boxes, traffic lights, road signs, lamp and telegraph posts, bollards, manhole covers, and drainage grates.

 In order to capture the data fleets of vans and cars will be fitted with Mobileye's automotive camera-based mapping technology and will capture a street-level (worms-eye) view of the nation's roadside infrastructure network.

The vehicles will be constantly observing, processing and transmitting data to the cloud and OS, where the information is cross-referenced with existing OS datasets and pulled together in one place so, in the future, it can be accessed by users.

For the pilot a number of Northumbrian Water's fleet vehicles will be fitted with small Mobileye cameras, which will help capture data across the North East of England.

It's hoped the project will allow Northumbrian Water to enhance the quality of their existing asset data, making it faster and simpler to identify and link above-ground and underground assets.

It will also allow the water company to monitor the condition of their assets in near real-time, saving them money and time when planning asset maintenance programmes.  

Clive Surman-Wells, Northumbrian Water Group Operations Solutions Manager, said: "We're really excited and proud to be the first utility company to have the opportunity to try this brand new innovative technology. There are so many benefits that have the potential to really change the game when it comes to helping manage our networks and keep our customers' water flowing."
 
Neil Ackroyd, OS interim CEO, said: "At OS we strive to create environments that support new technologies and data services across the public and private sector. The initial trials are already delivering a deeper and richer level of data which we are confident will bring added value to our customers."

Prof. Amnon Shashua, President and CEO of Mobileye, said: "A future of smart cities and safe streets is within reach when we equip organisations with high precision mapping data. We look forward to seeing the continuing progress of our trials."

Northumbrian Water will be demoing the project at the 2019 Innovation Festival. For more information on the event visit www.innovationfestival.org.

Mark Ireland