The new platform also has the capacity to effectively pay for itself, firstly by being an asset that can be licensed to other councils, and secondly by vastly reducing applications and maintenance costs.
Today, Oxfordshire County Council, like many UK towns and cities struggles with congestion, isolation and other transport-related issues. Transportation infrastructure is often not designed for the scale and frequency of modern passenger journeys – but planning changes to infrastructure can be fraught with complications if they are not based on the most reliable, comprehensive and up-to-date data.
GeoSpock’s spatial big data platform will enable the council to make the best data-informed decisions possible. In 2020, Oxfordshire will have acomprehensive modelling platform, enabling it to make infrastructure decisions with unparalleled accuracy.
Effective, data-led planning is one of the crucial foundations for smart cities, especially considering the long-term damage that poor planning decisions cause. Above the benefits to the people of Oxfordshire, the project is also uniquely positive for the council and central government, who have committed £1.4 million to its development. Both in terms of procurement and procedure, the project is acting as a pilot and could feasibly open up a whole new revenue stream for councils across the country.
Currently, the Oxfordshire transport planning tool has a number of limitations. Firstly, the program was developed in the 1970s and doesn't incorporate any of the latest geospatial technology. Secondly, the current approach leverages data from a limited sample and therefore does not provide an exact, real-time and fluid picture of transport in the city. Thirdly, the vehicle-based approach does not account for multi-modal journeys, for example, thosethat use more than one method of transport (cycling, bus, train, walking, etc.). Finally, the tool requires expertise from third-party organisations to operate the model, resulting in high costs to operate and, due to the lack of control, an inherent lack of flexibility.
The new platform being developed by GeoSpock, and the Box5 consortium specifically addresses each of these issues – utilising real-time data, incorporating multi-modal transport options and being intuitive enough to be operated by the council members without the assistance of third-party consultants.
The aim of the project in Oxfordshire is not only to develop a unique transport solution, but also to forge a new business and revenue model for the public sector. The platform, once developed, could be licensed to other councils so they can benefit from the technology, saving both short and long-term costs. If the system proves successful, it will completely revolutionise how cities and councils develop technology and enable them to create state-of-the-art tools and systems. This new R&D procurement approach brings the innovation of the technology market together with local government, allowing them to develop the next generation modelling, data management and visualization and simulations technology, responsibly.
As a cloud-based solution, developed and operated on Amazon Web Services, it can be licensed and deployed quickly and efficiently to new geographical locations by other cities and county councils in the UK and globally.
“We are constantly looking to embrace exciting new innovations that can improve our communities for the long-term,” said Llewellyn Morgan, Head of Innovation at Oxfordshire county council. “Geospatial data has the ability to change the way we view city planning. We believe the project with GeoSpock will act as an example for other city councils and municipalities, not just in the UK, but around the world to follow.”
“The Oxfordshire council must be applauded for pioneering a new approach to technology investment that will bring benefits to citizens for decades to come. This project has the potential to completely change the city and the way we view public sector investment – no longer will it lag behind business, waiting for solutions to become affordable. They will be rewarded for investing in technology that makes a real difference,” said Richard Baker, CEO at Geospock.
GeoSpock, the spatial big data company, has been chosen to help overhaul transport planning in Oxfordshire. As part of a consortium of companies that are developing the next generation solution, GeoSpock will change how all transport decisions are made. This includes where to expand roads, build new cycle lanes, place community buildings, pedestrianise zones and ease commuter congestion.