Remi AI has built a patented Artificial Intelligence solution for Super Loci. The cutting edge platform will help urban planners, local councils, developers, architects, retailers and outdoor marketers better understand the spaces within which they operate. This article explores the broader issues around inefficient public spaces, before delving into how Super Loci can help.
Around Australia, billions of dollars are spent annually by state road agencies on improving traffic flow for motor vehicles on motorways and arterial roads. Current methods of traffic monitoring are fairly crude, but adequate for purpose, and is usually measured in 15-minute increments of vehicles travelling in lanes or turning at intersections. These are fed into various traffic models, which are then used without much further question.
But there are major changes on the horizon. Through Smart Cities and IoT, analytics is playing a bigger part of city planning, urban design and transport planning. The advent of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) is looming on the horizon, but in Australia alone there are 716 sections of legislation that will have to be amended to allow CAVs to operate at level 5 automation.
There is also a growing emphasis on ‘streets as places for people’ not just for movement of cars and freight - hence leading to the term ‘movement and place’ or ‘link and place’. The City of Melbourne, for example, reported that a 10% improvement in pedestrian connectivity would increase the value of the Hoddle grid economy by $2.1 billion (6.6 per cent of the economy) (SGS)
Another study in Auckland showed that at one intersection alone, pedestrian delays cost the economy NZ$2.2 million annually, and that optimising the signals could reduce that delay by 26 to 46 per cent, representing $1 million savings.
But how can we prioritise pedestrians and bicycle riders if our current methods barely count them at all? There’s laser or infrared sensors, sometimes induction loops, or even people with clipboards, but these are relatively unreliable, rudimentary and slow to get results. There is also no method for measuring a ‘crowd’ of pedestrians waiting on a footpath. So how can we prioritise a large crowd of pedestrians who’ve just come out of the train station onto a busy city streets?
Super Loci is a patented solution that tackles the problem of the lack of insight in how pedestrians and bicycle riders interact with spaces. Greater insight before a project leads to better design, and more certainty around decisions.
The brief from Super Loci was as follows: Build a pedestrian and bike counter that is aligned with our values of efficient and ethical modelling of how people interact with any given space. We are proud have built a tool that has come to provide councils, urban planners, state road agencies and property developers with accurate insights about their particular space, whilst also offering anonymity to the people interacting with the space. The Super Loci platform can identify how many pedestrians and riders are moving through an area, and is able to estimate age bracket as well as gender, without resorting to facial recognition. It is fully EU GDPR (privacy) compliant.
To better understand engagement with a space, Super Loci also notes the dwell time of each individual, showing where and for how long pedestrians engage with a space. This is important if we want to understand the ‘stickiness’ or attractiveness of a streetscape. Do people want to linger and enjoy, or do they rush through as quickly as possible?
Super Loci is a Sydney-based start up, founded by experts in city planning, urban design and transport. At the heart of the business is a focus on human-centric cities. As such, it was imperative that all data that would train the algorithm behind Super Loci be anonymised and comply with strict European privacy laws.
The platform was conceived by city planners, for city planners. Designed to be a cutting edge, ethical, insightful and cost effective way to help build better cities and towns. Whether used in a single location, or rolled out across a broader space, Super Loci allows planners and designers to either quantify their gut instinct on spatial interaction, or even discover new information they were previously unaware of. Greater insight leads to smarter city design, which in turn leads to smoother and more convenient journeys for pedestrians and bike riders.