About the client
Our client, headquartered in the Netherlands, is a leader in the global market for geolocation services and mobile mapping solutions. Their products have been successfully applied in transportation and logistics, smart mobility software solutions, automotive, telecommunications, retail, marketing, and other spheres. The client’s portfolio includes innovative mapping solutions, live traffic information systems, smart parking system, software development tools for in-vehicle and mobile navigation solutions, and a proprietary collaborative geolocation platform.
Providing cloud-based infrastructure and access to dynamic map data, our client also delivers B2B solutions widely used in eCommerce, search systems, and even social networking. The company’s mobile mapping solutions used in smart parking system have found satisfied consumers in almost 200 countries worldwide.
Our client came with the challenge
Our client has been one of the top LBS innovators in urban mobility for their wide adoption of mobile internet, cloud and IoT technologies into smart navigation and mapping solutions. Their most recent product is a cooperative location-centric data ecosystem. Its key capabilities include storing and exchanging actionable map content and industry-specific tools for processing cartographic data, compiling custom maps, developing smart parking solutions for urban areas, and rendering maps.
As one of the industry-specific use cases for transportation software development, the client needed to develop a smart parking management system to find free parking slots in urban areas. Still, their location platform did not include maps that are compact enough for mobile devices, are easily updatable even with spotty connectivity, and can seamlessly switch between online and offline modes. These requirements were critical for the client and apart from a smart parking system they also required a new mobile-friendly map format that could potentially substitute their entire map line. Having been closely involved in the development of our client’s platform and multiple location technology programs and solutions for smart cities since 2015, Intellias is now providing technical talent for this innovative smart parking management system that uses a new map format for mobile navigation.
Intellias has developed the smart parking solutions for urban areas
Before developing a smart car parking system itself, we analyzed the pros and cons of our client’s existing map formats. We needed to find the right format to serve as the basis for the new concept map that will be used for mobile navigation. In the process, we learned that Navigation Data Standard (NDS) maps were too bulky and incapable of streaming while MapBox Vector Tiles (MVT) maps lacked 3D rendering capabilities and required too much space for mobile use. Consequently, the team decided to base the solution on our client’s proprietary map format. This format had none disadvantages compared to NDS and MVT maps and, for the most part, satisfied the requirements for the new map concept.
The selected map source format, however, lacked a formal specification, so our engineers formalized the data sets and the layers for the source format. These adjustments allow developing custom mobile route solutions matching specific data layers with the base-map layer. For instance, tourism app developers could insert a custom layer with geolocation- and time-aware points of interest (POI) like cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants above the base-map.
After overcoming the challenges of creating a mobile-friendly map format, Intellias engineers developed a proof-of-concept smart car parking system for routing to free parking slots in urban areas. We also added a possibility of precise routing to the POI including navigation for pedestrian walking from the parking slot to the POI. Ultimately, the smart car parking system routes a car to the closest parking slot taking into account distance and estimated time of arrival (ETA). The route is dynamically modified based on parking availability as the system recalculates total ETA including pedestrian part of the route. Information on free parking slots comes from the platform’s volatile layer. This volatile layer obtains data from vehicles whose onboard sensors (lidar, cameras) detect free parking slots while maneuvering around the parking.
Our next task was migrating the compilation of the source map format to the new platform’s compilation framework to use platform-provided geodata for the new mobile route solution for finding parking slots. We also added support for incremental map updates that allow us to publish the latest urban and road infrastructure changes to individual map tiles instead of the whole map.
We’ve achieved great results together
The smart parking case study for a PoC mobile application and the new source map format both received approval from the client’s leadership for full-scale development. Our client’s product management, sales, and marketing teams are now studying the market feasibility of this new smart parking case study. After several brainstorming sessions, we came up with additional workflows for end-users to bring them to selected POI using this smart parking system:
Workflow for route planning:
- A user enters the POI and sets free parking slots options based on preferable distance and ETA
- The navigation app builds an optimal route to the free parking slot according to the set of predefined preferences (time, distance, parking cost)
- After arrival to parking, the system builds a walking part of the route from the parking to the POI
Additional alerts and notifications while completing the route:
- The system alerts a driver if a parking slot is busy before they have arrived and automatically proposes another route according to predefined preferences
- The system alerts a driver if a better parking slot is available and automatically proposes another route according to predefined preferences
We also continue to tighten our cooperation with the client’s rendering team. As a result, we already outlined a technical vision to implement the new concept maps used for smart parking into several more custom mapping solutions.