New York, October 17—Mapillary, the street-level imagery platform that uses computer vision to scale and automate mapping, just launched a dashcam that’s been customized for mapping purposes.
Built by Pittasoft in collaboration with Mapillary, the dashcam is lightweight, flexible, and able to capture anything from one to thirty frames per second, depending on the mapping needs. The images are geo-positioned on the map within hours of uploading to Mapillary and processed with computer vision that generates map data for fixing maps. Mapillary CEO Jan Erik Solem says that the launch is set to help logistics companies deliver on increasingly ambitious promises around shipping:
“Broken maps is a big problem for many reasons. To most people, it’s annoying when an incorrect map means that you can’t find the place you’re going to, but for logistics companies under tight deadlines, this can have a big impact on how many deliveries they are able to make that day and eventually on their bottom line financial results. Equipping delivery fleets with the Mapillary dashcam means that these companies have access to near real-time map and location data through the Mapillary platform, without drivers doing any extra work. This will allow them to plan their route around unpredictable road conditions and roadwork, improve addressing and delivery locations, and also see the place drivers are going to before going there.”
The dashcam requires minimum involvement from the driver, as the camera starts to capture imagery as soon as the van leaves the depot. To logistics companies, this means that they’re able to put the dashcam in the vehicle that makes the most sense depending on where they’re lacking recent map data. Unlike other mapping platforms, the imagery on Mapillary is processed with computer vision and opened up so that anyone can access and license both the imagery and the data.
The news is announced as leading logistics firms face mounting pressure to deliver more goods faster. Amazon, which spent some $28 billion on shipping in 2018 alone, announced earlier this year that they are rolling out one-day shipping to all Prime customers in North America, while Walmart announced in September that they’re rolling out unlimited grocery deliveries throughout the US. Meanwhile, 84% of shoppers say they’re unlikely to return to a retailer after just one negative shipping experience. According to Solem, this puts access to fresh map data high on the agenda:
“Access to fresh and accurate map data is becoming increasingly crucial for logistics companies and we’ve built this dashcam with Pittasoft specifically because logistics companies and others have asked for it. Some logistics companies are even building their own in-house mapping teams, but regardless of whether they have an in-house mapping team or not, they still need fresh map data to keep the map updated. That’s where the Mapillary dashcam comes in, and we’re already working with several delivery companies in the UK and US who are looking to use the dashcams in their fleets.”
The Mapillary dashcam costs $460 and is available for fleets today. Read more on mapillary.com/dashcam.
Mapillary is the street-level imagery platform that scales and automates mapping using collaboration, cameras, and computer vision. Mapillary combines images from any camera into a visualization of the world that generates map data for improving maps, developing cities, and advancing the automotive industry. Mapillary’s tools enable anyone to collect, share, and use street-level images.
Today, people and organizations all over the world have contributed more than 750 million images toward Mapillary’s mission of helping people understand the world’s places through images and making this data available, with clients and partners including the World Bank, HERE, and Toyota Research Institute. Mapillary has raised $24.5 million in venture capital from some of the world’s most seasoned investors, including Sequoia Capital, Atomico, and BMW i Ventures.
About the Mapillary dashcam
The Mapillary dashcam is a BlackVue DR900M built by Pittasoft in collaboration with Mapillary and is customized for mapping purposes. The 4K ultra HD video and wide-angle view provide great detail in images, while customizable frame rates make the camera flexible to accommodate for a variety of mapping needs. The GPS updates 15 times per second to capture the exact location of every image and the camera is able to run for entire working days without overheating. It captures imagery as soon as the vehicle starts, without any extra work from drivers. The camera connects to the vehicle’s 12V port (the charger outlet for the cigarette lighter) and has the ability to store imagery from up to 80 hours of driving.
How the Mapillary dashcam solution works
The Mapillary dashcam is fitted to the windshield, connects to a 12V port (the charger outlet for the cigarette lighter), and starts capturing imagery as soon as the vehicle starts. Depending on the capture setting, up to 150,000 images will be captured in one eight-hour driving session, while requiring no interaction from the driver. The images are stored on microSD cards and uploaded to Mapillary once the van returns to the depot. Images are processed to apply privacy blurring, create 3D views, and extract navigation data like traffic signs, roadwork assets, and more. The images and the machine-generated data are available on the Mapillary platform for map editing within hours of uploading.