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Net zero opportunities in location data


Location data can support net zero goals and maximise the effectiveness of investment.

A new report from the Geospatial Commission highlights the opportunity for data to support adoption of electric cars and vans across both public and private sector, from helping to site charging points to providing information to users on their availability.

The report says that data on power lines and suitable places to leave a car unattended is key to planning where to site chargers, while data on road gradients and outside temperatures needs to be added to work out battery ranges. However, at present there is no authoritative data on existing infrastructure or electric vehicle usage and what exists is not always interoperable.

Location data will also be needed to manage much increased demand on local electricity distribution networks.

In the report’s foreword, geospatial commissioner Steve Unger says that this move is central to the UK’s ability to move to net zero greenhouse gas emissions, including a ban on the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030. “Large investments are already being made to achieve this goal, by the automotive industry, and by the various retail and tourism destinations for whom chargepoints are now a core offering,” he writes. “Location data can help make these investments more effective.”

Six areas

The report covers six areas of opportunity for transport location data: roads, including in planning, construction, maintenance and traffic management; road and rail haulage, including telematics; route optimisation; electric vehicles; connected and autonomous vehicles; and drones and unmanned aircraft systems.

The commission also announced the winners of the second phase of its £5 million Transport Location Data Competition, which will support seven companies in working with the public sector to develop ideas as pilots. The companies involved are Emu Analytics, Ngenius, Ricardo UK, City Science Corporation, Dynamon, Hack Partners and Thales Ground Transportation Systems UK. Projects include using anonymised location data from CCTV cameras to help local authorities to manage active travel routes and optimisation of geofencing to increase the usage and effectiveness of low emissions zones.


Image from 'Positioning the UK in the fast lane - Location data opportunities for better UK transport'

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