Oxford trials innovative new city mapping

Oxford City Council and the University of Oxford’s Robotics Institute (ORI) are to trial a new street mapping project that could transform services across the city.

The project will see sensors attached to a city council street cleaner in the city centre to create 3D maps that can be used to trial the development of autonomous vehicles.

Additionally, the ORI is exploring further data that may be obtained to help the council better manage the city, including road and pavement surface damage, air quality, litter and fly-tipping and broken streetlights and signs. If successful, the innovation could see the council add the mapping tool to its fleet of vehicles.

Sebastian Johnson, project manager at Oxford City Council, said: “Working with the ORI we are exploring how the city council’s fleet of street cleaners and refuse collection vehicles can be fitted with sensors, developed by the ORI, to map the city.

“At the same time we are looking to gather information and data that can help us improve the way we run the city as an efficient and effective council. Our open data platform will also allow innovators to explore and use the data to create new ideas and applications.

“Oxford is the home to world-leading mobile autonomy and robotics research and development, and the city council and our wider partners on the Smart Oxford Board are keen to support innovation and research to benefit those living in the city.”

Oxford City Council is a founding partner of Smart Oxford, a strategic programme of a wide range of city partners working together to develop and promote Oxford as a smart city.