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Artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly present in our world. People have access to a wealth of technology promising to transform living spaces into the smart homes of the 21st Century, for instance. Businesses, on the other hand, are exploring how transport and commerce can be made more efficient through AI, birthing smart cities.
This interweaving of physical spaces and digital information is what Gartner calls intelligent digital mesh, and it’s the foundation for how businesses and ecosystems will operate in the future. Through intelligent digital mesh, we can use AI to improve how we make decisions, how we get around, and how infrastructure is planned. But to meet this potential and truly create smart cities, knowing every inch of a physical space will be essential, and that’s where our technology comes in.
If you’ve ever found the GPS on your phone confused about your exact location, then you already know that GPS isn’t the most accurate technology. And while GPS has revolutionized the way we navigate, it isn’t cut out for connecting devices, vehicles, and other systems with the real-time precision needed to bring smart cities to life. Achieving location intelligence – knowledge of an object’s location, surroundings, and destination, all down to centimeters – requires a full digital representation of the physical world.
We’re creating 3D maps with the degree of accuracy that allows businesses and cities to become location intelligent. With LiDAR at the core of our mapping, we’re able to capture highly detailed information for modelling complex urban spaces with centimeter-level precision. These high definition maps allow the autonomous movement of people and goods at scale.
Of course, gathering information with such detail is an intricate, time-intensive task that would be impossible to complete manually. By leaning on AI and machine learning, we’re able to create high definition maps at global volumes, and to ensure these maps stay up to date, updating environmental changes detected by any sensor and updating our maps autonomously in near-real time.
More and more internet-connected devices are entering the world, as research firm Gartner estimates that there will be more than 21 billion connected sensors and endpoints by 2020. With this degree of connectedness, we’re looking at an impending world of digital twins: digital representations of everything that exists in the physical world.
Digital twins present an unexplored expanse of possibilities for analysis and decision-making. Engineers, for example, could use digitals twins of cities to run advanced simulations that influence urban planning, or designers could uncover insights into how objects, services, and spaces are used and how they can be improved.
We’re already creating these digital worlds with our technology. Using AI-powered map building, we’ve created truly 3D maps built from information that extends far beyond what can be found in any other system. Spaces that aren’t usually accurately presented, such as tunnels, are reliably captured, and features such as elevations and road widths are detailed in high definition.
These maps are comprehensive recreations, presenting elements such as terrain, buildings, and even road elevations, and can be used in conjunction with 3D objects for simulations. With these technologies, we’re getting closer to realising the potential of digital twins to improve urban environments, everyday items, and the way we navigate the world.
Without a doubt, the next great advancements of the physical world are going to be built upon its cohesion with the digital world, and we’ll need an intelligent digital mesh to entwine the two together. The precision and completeness of forward-thinking mapping technology means that cohesion needn’t be far away.