Cloud Mapping will kickstart the driverless cars and smart city future
A new cutting edge cloud mapping service is being rolled out across the UK by Buchanan Computing, enabling people for the first time to view large swathes of the UK’s parking and other kerb side restrictions. The new national platform includes an API, opening the door for applications to stream the data being provided to create an Augmented Reality of the real world highlighting which traffic restrictions are in force.
The new service is part of the latest iteration of Buchanan’s existing traffic order management application, ParkMap which has been updated and re-designed with an eye to the future, allowing the creation of the services needed to enable driverless cars to navigate the UK’s complex road side restrictions. This cloud based service is a crucial step forward towards smart cities and will allow third parties such as motor manufacturers to create more intelligent vehicles that can navigate UK roads more easily.
Alex Smith, Managing Director of Buchanan Computing said: “This new service is a first and represents a significant step forward for the sector as such a comprehensive set of data for traffic and parking regulations has never been available before in one place on a cloud based platform. The technology not only covers all kerb side controls but also incorporates daily live feeds from each Local Authority and will provide a real boost for future technology around smart cities and the job of helping to integrate smart initiatives with existing economic development and public service delivery plans.
“Our company has been at the forefront of technology surrounding traffic regulations for over 25 years and this latest evolution of our digital rules of the road once again breaks new ground in its use of data. We are sharing publicly owned data via this service with the aim of enabling others to develop their own applications needed for the successful delivery of smart cities agenda. We are therefore keen to work with innovative partners in relevant industries such as motor manufacturing and other transport application developers to use this data to help drive that forward.”
The platform works so that, as Local Authorities update and create traffic orders within ParkMap, these are transferred into standard format and published onto Buchanan’s national cloud service for consumption by other applications such as in car navigation systems. The service supplies data in an open format enabling it to be easily utilised within mapping applications including Web Mapping layers or 3D visualisations. In addition, for completeness, the platform can accept data feeds from other non ParkMap systems therefore providing the UK’s first national data set of traffic order kerb side controls.
An earlier pilot version of the technology has already been trialled by Essex County Council among others, but this latest version builds on work undertaken to standardise the data. The new service covers DfT supported formats such as APDS and TROD.
This year Buchanan Computing is celebrating its 25th anniversary and has been at the forefront of developing innovative technologies in the roads and traffic sector since the 1990s. Over that time, among many “firsts” it has pioneered the use of map-based schedules rather than paper based schedules for traffic orders, provided cloud computing services for the first time to traffic and highway teams, and continues to make a significant contribution in the development of open standards for traffic order and parking data.