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Why Data Accuracy is Crucial for the Future of Smart Cities

Wednesday, 19 May, 2021
Accurate Data for smart cities

‘Quality = Accuracy + Breadth + Robustness’ is the Perfect Equation  

There is an assumption that all data is created equal. This is simply not true. History is littered with technologies which provide “data”, but if you cannot trust the insights it is worthless. When it comes to city infrastructure, authorities who are making decisions on the future of our roads and cities are rightfully sceptical of data accuracy and reliability claims that are provided without evidence, including how data is verified. 

At Vivacity Labs, our computer vision technology is providing insights that contribute to the evolution of smart cities, helping to promote clean air and active travel initiatives and make cities better connected. All data provided is reliable, detailed and accurate so that these projects have all the insights they need to succeed.

Quality is Key 

Cities need to harness technology that provides detailed, high quality insights, especially when it comes to our roads. With authorities facing tough decisions on the future of high profile schemes and their success, data allows them to make informed choices about what is working, or not. 

By adopting new techniques such as computer vision, authorities can derive a vast range of detailed insights, all from a single device. For example, when it comes to traffic sensors, anonymous data is collected on a range of classifications of road users, from joggers and e-scooters to cars and buses, as well as how each of these behave. Authorities can then analyse which schemes are working and where improvements need to be made to promote sustainable travel and clear air in our cities. This is only possible if the data they are working with is accurate and as high quality as possible. 

Ensuring data accuracy

Make or break decisions on high profile schemes, which have impact on congestion, air quality and the accessibility of cities, rely on accurate data. That’s why we present authorities with live deployment data from widespread conditions over extensive time periods to give authorities the genuine insights they need. We pride ourselves on 97%+ accurate data, which has been independently verified by authorities such as TfL, so that we can deliver the best possible insights to support this. 

In addition, the data which is derived from our technology can also bring about dynamic and positive adaptations in the live environment. For example, variable message signs can provide live updates to road users in cities. Street lighting can also be changed based on the needs of road users. Equally, by identifying near misses between different classification types and controlling traffic junctions, Vivacity’s AI based insights can also help improve traffic flow and congestion.

Measuring what matters

As well as collecting data at a range of times and in different conditions, we know that it’s important to measure what matters. Vivacity Labs’ technology counts emerging transport types, in addition to gaining deep insights on traits such as speed, occupancy, congestion, turning counts and journey times, to create the most informed view possible. Good smart city data isn’t centred on one of these points, but must factor in all of them.

Equally, we believe that the future of the smart city has to be citizen-centric and it’s important to keep data safe and anonymous. We make sure that no personal data is ever recorded. Our sensors use AI to detect what type of road user is passing in real time and feed this back as anonymous numerical data. For example, five counts of cyclists, two pedestrians and one bus. It should be a data feed – not a video feed. And if it isn’t, we know that it jeopardises the trust of the citizens at the heart of these schemes. 

Overall, our vision is to continue to help make our cities genuinely smart and deliver the sustainability, connectivity and safety benefits that have been spoken about for years. In taking steps to go digital, authorities will need to be able to differentiate between the huge range of technology on offer and to prize accuracy and reliability above all else. Once the right technology is in place, the possibilities are endless.



Vivacity offers video analytics sensors using machine learning algorithms to gather data on transport modes, traffic flow and patterns, helping improve cities and local quality of living. Find out more about our technologies.

Get in touch with the Vivacity team to learn more about how our AI powered traffic sensor can provide you with clear and accurate data.

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