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ESRI taps Mobileye sensors to turn transit fleets into rolling data feeds

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Self-driving cars will one day have a big impact on urban traffic but ahead of that, tech companies are offering cities new cloud-connected tools to more effectively monitor and improve the flow of people, vehicles and goods. That includes plans by ESRI and Intel’s Mobileye to turn transit fleets into powerful roving data collectors.

Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc. (ESRI), a mapping data – or “spatial analytics” – powerhouse, will work with Mobileye to feed visual and telematics data from sensors affixed to buses and other vehicles into ESRI’s ArcGIS mapping platform which the company says is already used by most of the world’s largest cities. “It expands Mobileye’s camera-based ‘Shield+’ sensors from providing blindspot-monitoring for individual vehicles to one that can help prevent accidents and collisions citywide” said ESRI’s business development chief Jim Young. “We’re aggregating and visualising the data Mobileye is seeing,” he told Forbes. “By having that more holistic view of taking all the individual observations and putting them in the context of the city, like looking at areas where previous accidents occurred – that whole overlay analysis – puts  this data set in a context that becomes actionable and useful for the city.”

Founded in 1969 by Jack Dangermond and his wife Laura, ESRI provides digital mapping and analysis services to clients including cities, real estate developers, oil companies, FEMA, the U.S. Geological Survey and UPS and has more than half the market for so-called GIS (Geographic Information Systems) software. But cloud computing, the Internet of Things and the Smart City movement are creating opportunities for the Redlands, California-based company to help urban areas operate roads and transit systems more efficiently.

Likewise, companies including Google’s Waze, Israeli transit-data provider Moovit and even Uber are building vast data troves from GPS data thrown off by users of their mobility apps. ESRI declined to provide any financial details of its collaboration with Mobileye, a leading supplier of automotive computer vision products that was bought by Intel this year for $15.3 billion. Within the ArcGIS platform, real-time information including pedestrians and cyclists detected in blindspots can be viewed on the ‘Mobileye Smart Mobility Dashboard,’ said ESRI.

Mobileye released Shield+ in early 2015 as an after-market product for existing fleets of buses and large vehicles, with a primary camera and two side cameras that monitor blind spots and alert drivers, according to a Mobileye filing. From the start, it was also connected to a telematics system to send ‘alerts to fleet managers and municipalities who can anticipate hot-spots based on such alerts and effect changes that can meaningfully reduce road accidents,’ according the filing. The ESRI partnership appears to expand that functionality. “By enabling direct uploading of geospatial events from Shield+ fitted to municipal buses and the like to the Mobileye Smart Mobility Dashboard, cities will be able to anticipate and help prevent the next collision while in general, managing all of their assets much more efficiently,” Mobileye’s Director of business development and big data Nisso Moyal said in a statement.

GIS Solutions was appointed by ESRI as its sole distributor for Sri Lanka. GIS Solutions is a subsidiary of the Just In Time Group, a foremost systems integrator in Sri Lanka with a 20 year history, providing ICT solutions and service support to a niche market in Sri Lanka. GIS Solutions provides end-to-end Geo Information Systems software solutions based on the ArcGIS platform in Sri Lanka and is the only GIS software provider in Sri Lanka that fully supports its customers through a dedicated support team of technical experts who are contactable around the clock. With a large user base to its credit, GIS Solutions is equipped to provide support services like technical training, software customisation servicing and specialised GIS consulting expertise for GIS both local and foreign. It is considered that no other GIS software provider in Sri Lanka is better equipped to conceptualise, design, implement and deliver large-scale GIS projects locally.

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