WO2017042752A1 - Improvements in, or relating to, vehicle, infrastructure and roading measurement and management - Google Patents

Improvements in, or relating to, vehicle, infrastructure and roading measurement and management Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2017042752A1
WO2017042752A1 PCT/IB2016/055427 IB2016055427W WO2017042752A1 WO 2017042752 A1 WO2017042752 A1 WO 2017042752A1 IB 2016055427 W IB2016055427 W IB 2016055427W WO 2017042752 A1 WO2017042752 A1 WO 2017042752A1
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WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
information
data
method
dataset
plurality
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PCT/IB2016/055427
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French (fr)
Inventor
Phillip Robert BROWN
Quaid LECKEY
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Traffic Engineering & Management Limited
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Priority to NZ712170 priority Critical
Priority to NZ71217015 priority
Application filed by Traffic Engineering & Management Limited filed Critical Traffic Engineering & Management Limited
Publication of WO2017042752A1 publication Critical patent/WO2017042752A1/en

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08GTRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS
    • G08G1/00Traffic control systems for road vehicles
    • G08G1/09Arrangements for giving variable traffic instructions
    • G08G1/0962Arrangements for giving variable traffic instructions having an indicator mounted inside the vehicle, e.g. giving voice messages
    • G08G1/0967Systems involving transmission of highway information, e.g. weather, speed limits
    • G08G1/096766Systems involving transmission of highway information, e.g. weather, speed limits where the system is characterised by the origin of the information transmission
    • G08G1/096775Systems involving transmission of highway information, e.g. weather, speed limits where the system is characterised by the origin of the information transmission where the origin of the information is a central station
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q10/00Administration; Management
    • G06Q10/04Forecasting or optimisation, e.g. linear programming, "travelling salesman problem" or "cutting stock problem"
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q10/00Administration; Management
    • G06Q10/06Resources, workflows, human or project management, e.g. organising, planning, scheduling or allocating time, human or machine resources; Enterprise planning; Organisational models
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q50/00Systems or methods specially adapted for specific business sectors, e.g. utilities or tourism
    • G06Q50/30Transportation; Communications
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08GTRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS
    • G08G1/00Traffic control systems for road vehicles
    • G08G1/01Detecting movement of traffic to be counted or controlled
    • G08G1/0104Measuring and analyzing of parameters relative to traffic conditions
    • G08G1/0125Traffic data processing
    • G08G1/0129Traffic data processing for creating historical data or processing based on historical data
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08GTRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS
    • G08G1/00Traffic control systems for road vehicles
    • G08G1/01Detecting movement of traffic to be counted or controlled
    • G08G1/0104Measuring and analyzing of parameters relative to traffic conditions
    • G08G1/0137Measuring and analyzing of parameters relative to traffic conditions for specific applications
    • G08G1/0141Measuring and analyzing of parameters relative to traffic conditions for specific applications for traffic information dissemination
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08GTRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS
    • G08G1/00Traffic control systems for road vehicles
    • G08G1/01Detecting movement of traffic to be counted or controlled
    • G08G1/015Detecting movement of traffic to be counted or controlled with provision for distinguishing between two or more types of vehicles, e.g. between motor-cars and cycles
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08GTRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS
    • G08G1/00Traffic control systems for road vehicles
    • G08G1/01Detecting movement of traffic to be counted or controlled
    • G08G1/052Detecting movement of traffic to be counted or controlled with provision for determining speed or overspeed
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08GTRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS
    • G08G1/00Traffic control systems for road vehicles
    • G08G1/01Detecting movement of traffic to be counted or controlled
    • G08G1/056Detecting movement of traffic to be counted or controlled with provision for distinguishing direction of travel
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08GTRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS
    • G08G1/00Traffic control systems for road vehicles
    • G08G1/09Arrangements for giving variable traffic instructions
    • G08G1/0962Arrangements for giving variable traffic instructions having an indicator mounted inside the vehicle, e.g. giving voice messages
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08GTRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS
    • G08G1/00Traffic control systems for road vehicles
    • G08G1/09Arrangements for giving variable traffic instructions
    • G08G1/0962Arrangements for giving variable traffic instructions having an indicator mounted inside the vehicle, e.g. giving voice messages
    • G08G1/0967Systems involving transmission of highway information, e.g. weather, speed limits
    • G08G1/096708Systems involving transmission of highway information, e.g. weather, speed limits where the received information might be used to generate an automatic action on the vehicle control
    • G08G1/096716Systems involving transmission of highway information, e.g. weather, speed limits where the received information might be used to generate an automatic action on the vehicle control where the received information does not generate an automatic action on the vehicle control
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08GTRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS
    • G08G1/00Traffic control systems for road vehicles
    • G08G1/09Arrangements for giving variable traffic instructions
    • G08G1/0962Arrangements for giving variable traffic instructions having an indicator mounted inside the vehicle, e.g. giving voice messages
    • G08G1/0967Systems involving transmission of highway information, e.g. weather, speed limits
    • G08G1/096733Systems involving transmission of highway information, e.g. weather, speed limits where a selection of the information might take place
    • G08G1/09675Systems involving transmission of highway information, e.g. weather, speed limits where a selection of the information might take place where a selection from the received information takes place in the vehicle
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W4/00Services specially adapted for wireless communication networks; Facilities therefor
    • H04W4/02Services making use of location information
    • H04W4/029Location-based management or tracking services

Abstract

The present application describes improvements in, or relating to, vehicle, infrastructure and roading measurement and management. The application describes a method of 5 managing information in a graphical user environment, the method comprising or including the steps of providing at least one dataset containing comparable information, preferably regarding vehicles. Storing the information and providing access to at least one local user terminal having a graphical user interface. Allowing a user of the user terminal to analyse the information and identifying a plurality of geographic locations through the presentation 0 of a graphical user interface having a visual display of the plurality of geographic locations on first part of the graphical user interface. The method can present results on a plurality of portions of graphical user interfaces laid over, or separate from, the first part, allowing a user to analyse graphically the data for the plurality of geographic locations.

Description

IMPROVEMENTS IN, OR RELATING TO, VEHICLE, INFRASTRUCTURE AND ROADING MEASUREMENT AND MANAGEMENT

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to vehicle, infrastructure and roading measurement and management.

In particular, though not solely, the present invention is directed to measurement and management of vehicles and related data.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

There are many system for measuring vehicle movements over a piece of road or similar. The most common of these is hollow tubes laid on and affixed to the road. The data from these is then collected for a site and proves information on vehicles numbers and speeds for that piece of road. A similar system can be used to measure bicycle numbers and speeds.

Traditionally this data has been tabulated on a spreadsheet, for example Microsoft Excel®. Comparisons between sites, or for a certain site over time (for example one year to the next) has then required manual reviewing of the numbers. When vehicle counts can run to more than 20,000 vehicles per day the sheer amount of data and ability to understand and see patterns becomes very difficult or impossible. At best, snap-shots of the data can be looked at. This problem unfolds exponentially when other data is introduced, such as pedestrian movements, crash data, maintenance SCATS® traffic light data, automated number plate recognition and similar. As such operators are unable to make meaningful decisions in time frames that are reasonable and suit expectations or need. Certainly there is no ability presently to make such analysis and decisions in real-time.

Therefore there is a need for the one system, method and apparatus to bring together all information from many unrelated sources to generate and display the data graphically, allow multiple site analysis, multiple year analysis, and data interaction and impact in a useful time frame with easy import and export of graphical analytics, data and allow control and decisions to be made.

In this specification where reference has been made to patent specifications, other external documents, or other sources of information, this is generally for the purpose of providing a context for discussing the features of the invention. Unless specifically stated otherwise, reference to such external documents is not to be construed as an admission that such documents, or such sources of information, in any jurisdiction, are prior art, or form part of the common general knowledge in the art.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved system and method for measurement and management of vehicles and related data, or to overcome the above shortcomings or address the above desiderata, or to at least provide the public with a useful choice.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In a first aspect the present invention may be said to broadly consist in a method of managing information in a graphical user environment, the method comprising or including the steps of,

providing a database or databases containing first information of a first type about vehicles for a specific geographical site for a first set period of time, the information including, vehicle numbers, vehicle type, speed, direction,

providing in the same database, or a second database, second information, being: of the first type for a second set period of time for the same geographic location, or information of a second type for the same first set period of time and same geographic location, for example pedestrian movement and speed, weather, crash data, or information of the first type for the same first set period of time for a difference geographic location,

storing the various databases in a remote storage location that is connected, or connectable, to a local user terminal having a graphical user interface,

analysing a first set of results from the first information and/or second information on the remote storage location and storing this on the remote storage location,

identifying each said geographic location on a map and presenting the map and geographic locations on first part of the graphical user interface,

allowing a user to interact with one or more features associated with geographical location(s) displayed and show the user the first set of results on a second part of the graphical user interface laid over, or separate from, the first part,

allowing the user to choose content from the first information and second information for further analysis by processing on the local user terminal and displaying graphically on a third part of the graphical user interface of the local user terminal,

whereby the user can then analyse graphically the data for the geographic locations. Preferably the second part allows the user to download the raw data for that information.

Preferably the third part allows the user to download the graphic for that information.

Preferably the remote storage location is connected, or connectable, to a local user terminal via a network. Preferably the network is the internet.

In a second aspect the present invention may be said to broadly consist in a method of managing information in a graphical user environment, the method comprising or including the steps of,

Receiving data from a database or databases containing first information about vehicles for a specific geographical site for a first set period of time, the information including, vehicle numbers, vehicle type, speed, direction,

Receiving data from the same database, or a second database, second information, being:

of the first type for a second set period of time for the same geographic location, or information of a second type for the same first set period of time and same geographic location, for example pedestrian movement and speed, weather, crash data, or information of the first type for the same first set period of time for a difference geographic location,

wherein the various databases are stored in a remote storage location that is connected, or connectable, to a local user terminal having a graphical user interface, analysing a first set of results from the first information and/or second information on the remote storage location and storing this on the remote storage location,

displaying each said geographic location on a map and presenting the map and geographic locations on first part of the graphical user interface,

receiving a user interaction with one or more features associated with

geographical location(s) displayed and displaying the first set of results on a second part of the graphical user interface laid over, or separate from, the first part. Preferably the method comprises the step of receiving a user interaction selecting content from the first information and second information for further analysis;

analysing the selected content on the local user terminal; and

displaying the analysis graphically on a third part of the graphical user interface of the local user terminal.

Preferably the information comprises any one or more of vehicle numbers, vehicle type, speed, direction.

Preferably the method is not limited to vehicles or a vehicle based system.

Preferably the method is carried out on one or more processors with storage on one or more storage devices.

In another aspect the present invention may be said to broadly consist in a method of managing information in a graphical user environment, the method comprising or including the steps of,

providing a first dataset containing first information of a first type about a plurality of vehicles for a geographical location for a first period of time, the information comprising at least one characteristic of the plurality of vehicles,

providing the first dataset, or a second dataset, containing second information, the second information comprising any one or more of:

information of the first type for a second set period of time for the same geographic location;

information of a second type for the same first set period of time and same geographic location; or

information of the first type for the same first set period of time for a different geographic location,

storing the first and/or second datasets in a storage location connected, or connectable, to a local user terminal having a graphical user interface,

analysing a first set of results from the first information and the second information on the storage location,

identifying a plurality of geographic locations and presenting a visual display of the plurality of geographic locations on first part of the graphical user interface,

receiving a first input from the local user terminal and presenting the first set of results on a second part of the graphical user interface laid over, or separate from, the first part,

receiving a second input from the local user terminal and presenting a graphical display of the first information and second information on a third part of the graphical user interface laid over, or separate from, the first part,

whereby the user can analyse graphically the data for the plurality of geographic locations. Preferably the step of receiving a first input and/or receiving a second input comprise a user interaction with one or more features associated with displayed geographical location.

Preferably the step of receiving a second input comprises the step of allowing a user of the local user terminal to select content from the first information and second information for further analysis. Preferably the first dataset and/or the second dataset provide a plurality of characteristics comprising at least one or more of:

vehicle numbers,

vehicle type,

vehicle speed, or

vehicle direction.

Preferably the first dataset and/or the second dataset, comprise a plurality of

characteristics of the plurality of vehicles. Preferably the first dataset and the second data are stored in different formats.

Preferably the first dataset and/or the second dataset wherein the specific geographic location is a GPS co-ordinate or street reference. Preferably the geographic location is constant for the first and/or second dataset or is varies for information in the first and/or second dataset.

Preferably the step of transmitting the first dataset and/or second data set, or a portion thereof, to a local user terminal in raw data format.

Preferably the step of transmitting the graphical display to the local user terminal for in a downloadable image format.

Preferably the storage location is remote and connected or connectable to the local user terminal by a network.

Preferably the method comprises a plurality of datasets, each dataset containing information comprising a type, period of time and geographic location. Preferably the method comprises the step of importing the first dataset and/or the second dataset from a database. Preferably the step of storing the datasets comprises associating the datasets or information in the datasets based on the geographical location of the dataset, or information in the dataset.

Preferably the method of presenting a visual display of a plurality of geographical locations comprises presenting a display of a plurality of dataset options for additional information to be displayed.

Preferably the first input and/or the second input comprise a selection of at least one of the plurality of dataset options.

Preferably the second type of data is any one or more of pedestrian movement and speed, weather, crash data.

In another aspect the present invention may be said to broadly consist in a method of managing information in a graphical user environment comprising the steps of: accessing a plurality of information sources, each information source comprising information associated with at least one geographical location;

receiving a request from a user terminal, the request comprising one, or a plurality of geographical locations;

analysing the stored plurality of information and communication the plurality of information, or types of the plurality of information, associated with the one, or a plurality of, geographical locations; and

communicating the plurality of information to the user terminal. Preferably the method comprises the steps of:

receiving a further request from a user terminal, the request comprising at least two information types at one, or a plurality of, geographical locations;

analysing the at least two information types at the one, or a plurality of, geographical locations; and

communicating a comparison of the at least two information types to the user terminal.

Preferably the method comprises the step of storing an information source comprising information associated with at least one geographical location, wherein the information is stored by associated the information with the relevant geographical location.

In another aspect the present invention may be said to broadly consist in a method of managing information in a graphical user environment as described herein with reference to any one or more of the accompanying drawings.

In another aspect the present invention may be said to broadly consist in a system for managing information in a graphical user environment implementing the method as described herein.

As used herein the term "and/or" means "and" or "or", or both.

As used herein "(s)" following a noun means the plural and/or singular forms of the noun.

The term "comprising" as used in this specification means "consisting at least in part of". When interpreting statements in this specification which include that term, the features, prefaced by that term in each statement, all need to be present, but other features can also be present. Related terms such as "comprise" and "comprised" are to be interpreted in the same manner.

It is intended that reference to a range of numbers disclosed herein (for example, 1 to 10) also incorporates reference to all rational numbers within that range (for example, 1 , 1 .1 , 2, 3, 3.9, 4, 5, 6, 6.5, 7, 8, 9 and 10) and also any range of rational numbers within that range (for example, 2 to 8, 1 .5 to 5.5 and 3.1 to 4.7).

The entire disclosures of all applications, patents and publications, cited above and below, if any, are hereby incorporated by reference. This invention may also be said broadly to consist in the parts, elements and features referred to or indicated in the specification of the application, individually or collectively, and any or all combinations of any two or more of said parts, elements and features, and where specific integers are mentioned herein which have known equivalents in the art to which this invention relates, such known equivalents are deemed to be incorporated herein as if individually set forth.

Other aspects of the invention may become apparent from the following description which is given by way of example only and with reference to the accompanying drawings. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Preferred forms of the present invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which;

Figure 1 shows embodiment of a login screen for use with the present invention on a local user terminal, shows an embodiment of the graphical user environment displaying the geographical locations for the information as a map on the first part, shows a zoom in to a specific couple of geographic locations on the map on the of the first part of the graphical user interface, shows the initial information element for a chosen geographical location in a second part of the graphical user interface, showing the first set of results analysed from the information in the database shows an ability for a user to choose to download the information from the information element for that geographical location, shows the graphical content in the 3rd part of the graphical user interface for the further analysis of the first information and second information having been processed on the local user terminal, shows another variation of graphical content of that of Figure 6, shows another variation of graphical content of that of Figure 6, shows another variation of graphical content of that of Figure 6 shows another variation of graphical content of that of Figure 6, shows another variation of graphical content of that of Figure 6 shows another variation of graphical content of that of Figure 6, and shows a flow chart of the present invention.

Figure 14 shows an embodiment of the system with an overlaid graphical content. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Preferred embodiments will now be described with reference to Figures 1 through 14

Figure 1 shows an implementation of an embodiment of the invention on a local user terminal 130. The figure demonstrates possible first information regarding the number of vehicles per hour 2, average daily total 3 or 85%percentile speed, at a particular traffic intersection or traffic location. First information refers to data in a dataset which includes or comprises a plurality of data relating to at least one characteristics of the system. In some embodiments the dataset may include a plurality of characteristics which are preferably separable in the system. Figure 1 also demonstrates an entry point, or log-in screen 5 to the data portal 1 . The data portal is a storage point for one, or a plurality of, remote storage locations, which are connected to, or connectable to a local user terminal 130. For instance the storage point may be in a data server such as a cloud server. The connection may be across a wired and/or wireless network, including local area networks, wide area networks, the internet and any other network. Figure 1 also shows a first graphical user interface 20 of the local user terminal 130.

Figure 2 shows a second example of an embodiment of the graphical user interface 20 of the local user terminal 130. In this second example a map 21 or graphical representation of the data is shown. A plurality of geographical locations 22 are indicated on the map. The indication may be of any form. In this particular case a tear-drop marker is associated with a plurality of graphical locations 22. Each location has some data associated with it, as will be described below. The association between the location and the data may comprise a site ID reference, GPS location coordinates or location coordinates. In further embodiments of the system the map may comprise an aerial or other photo or real-life image. In a preferred embodiment it is possible to overlay or associate the map with a real life image in 2 or 3 dimensions. The phot realistic image may then be used to record additional data or information. For instance the desire lines of foot traffic through an intersection can be recorded on the photo realistic image. In embodiments automatic recognition may be used to transfer information from a photo realistic image into the system and associate the information with the GPS location achieved by a comparison between the map and the photo realistic image. For instance each data element could be tagged with a GPS coordinate to record the particular location it was taken. This would allow a dataset with multiple data locations to be uploaded to the system. Alternatively the dataset or first information may be all at a single location. In this case the entire dataset may be uploaded or recorded in the system with a site ID referencing this location. The site ID enables a plurality of information or datasets to be assigned to a location. The system can then retrieve all the information associated with a location and/or site id and create comparisons. In some embodiments a site ID or location can also specify a vector or direction associated with the information. For example the direction of a traffic count.

When a dataset or information for a particular location are uploaded to the system the co-ordinates of the dataset are preferably recorded in record in the database (e.g. MySQL) along with a link or association to a file or storage location to the dataset. For information in which provides data points for a plurality of locations the system can preferably temporarily store or cache a portion of the data from the file for display. This allows a range of geographical points to be shown without needing to refer to or reference the dataset regularly. However in further embodiments where particular information is required from a single location, site ID or set of locations, a files or dataset can be retrieved and viewed for that or a data point. This may include information such as intersections, pedestrian and cyclist counts. In a preferred embodiment this information can also be processed to be temporarily stored so that the information can alternatively be viewed across a large range of datapoints.

The markers may have a further characteristic to indicate different data, or stage of collection. In an example this may be the colour, shape or logo associated with the marker. The map also shows information relating to the topological,

geographical, satellite photos or human features of the geography. For instance Fig. 2 shows the streets and traffic routes 24 of a city.

Figure 3 shows a zoomed in view of a section of the map 21 in which markers 22 indicate streets Balmoral road and Wiremu Street respectively.

Preferably the markers are tagged to their precise measurement locations by GPS, or other mapping technology. Further markers are shown on the map including marker 31 which has a cycle logo. This may indicate that the marker is associated with a geographical location in which cycle traffic is monitored (as opposed to e.g. car traffic). Any of the nodes, markers or location points may use an image or icon, preferably to identify a feature of the data type or characteristic to which it refers. The data type may include characteristics of the vehicle such as vehicle numbers, vehicle type, vehicle speed, or vehicle direction or other types of data.

Figure 4 shows an embodiment of the invention in which the graphical user interface 20 has a second part of the graphical user interface 20 which displays further analysis or information 43 associated with a particular geographical marker 40. Different geographical markers 22 may have substantially the same, or different information 43 or information types depending on the measurements which have been completed at the location. The information available may be divided into a number of tabbed summaries 44. The information shown in Figure 4 demonstrates some the changes which can be made to the information, in particular for comparative purposes. This includes the financial, or calendar year, the location of the road, the name of the road, the type of road (central, arterial, local, motorway), speed measurements, vehicle volumes, averaged or total volumes and/or weather. Preferably the second part 41 of the graphical user interface is overlaid the first part of the graphical user interface 20. The first part of the GUI may be a map or other display of the geographical location of the data. The map does not have to be geographically accurate in all embodiments.

However in alternative embodiments the second part may be adjacent, next to, or partially overlay or be overlaid by the first part 20. For instance a dual screen set- up may display the first part on a first screen and the second part on a second screen. Preferably the first and second parts can be repositioned to suit a user. The information once analysed or associated with a geographical location may be referred to as a set of results. The information may also be processed through comparison of different numbers, for instance by mathematical operation.

Figure 5 demonstrates a second marker location 50 with particular data shown on a second part 41 of the graphical user interface. The tabbed information has been changed to 'files' 50. This enables access to the raw data that has been used to generate the, or some of the, information shown in Figure 4. The information, or data (51 -53) may be retrieved or received or provided by a single or multiple databases. In the example of Figure 5 the data comprises traffic measurements at a point on Bell road over three years. The system preferably incorporates further information by caching information from a loading file into a database stored on the serve. This caching process allows for quick retrieval into a browser based front end. Embodiments of the invention use specialised PHP, javascript and HTML scripting to manipulate and format the data through the GUI described herein.

Figure 6 shows a further embodiment of the invention wherein data shown in e.g. Figures 4 and 5 is displayed in a graphical format. This allows the information shown in number form to the user is also able to be analysed graphically. In a preferred embodiment the user views or interacts with the markers 22 shown in the graphical user interface 20 to view the data. This may be achieved by an interaction with the graphic user interface, such as a mouse click or mouse pointer location, or other interaction. The user can then select all, or a portion of the information to plot graphically. This may be indicated by a second user interaction. In a preferred embodiment the graphical representation of the information is performed on the local user terminal. This reduces the communication load on the network between the remote storage location (e.g. of the databases) and the local user terminal.

Figure 6 demonstrates a plotting of the vehicles per hour 64 across a week 63. The peak movement is shown each day, with different plot shapes 61 indicating the weekend. In a preferred embodiment the data is stratified, or separated into first and second information. There is a difference of at least one, and preferably one, characteristic or data type between the first and second information. That is to say the data is separated into subsets or characteristics to allow a comparison to be made between the data. Figure 6 shows a first set of data types where the data is divided into both directions, a first direction and the return direction 65. This enables the user to graphically view the impact of this change. In this case the data has likely been (but not necessarily) obtained from the same database.

In a second embodiment the traffic data 61 is compared to weather information 62. This information is likely obtained from a different information source and is combined by the data portal 1 . In some cases the granularity, or completeness of the data may vary between data sources and the system may verify the amount of data available, or the level of measurement available and/or displayed. For instance the weather data may be available only per hour, or per day, while the vehicle movement data may be available per minute, hour, or in real time. As shown in Figure 6 while at least two variables can be compared a plurality of variables may be compared and more complicated 2D or 3d graphs may be used to analyse the data. This enables the system to incorporate data from a variety of sources or databases which have not been specifically designed for the system. Broadly speaking the system can read or receive any location based data, or data in which the location is specified. This data is then incorporated into the system by association with one or more data locations. The data at each of these data locations can then be examined. This examination or display process may include combinations or modifications based on data limitations or variables. For instance, the data may not be available at all times or locations. In embodiments this may be shown by a text or picture warning.

Figure 7 shows a further embodiment of the invention wherein data received or stored in text based files or datases (e.g. figures 4 and 5) is displayed in a graphical format 70. Figure 7 shows data sources of vehicles per hour 64, day of the week 63 are plotted 61 . Again, weather information is available. However this time the time division of the weather data is smaller, such that weather data is available 4 times a day. The number or timing of the measurements shown is preferably selectable or controllable by a user. Where limited data is available the graphical user interface 20 may simply show the most detailed information available.

Figure 8 shows a further embodiment comparing data between databases. In this case the geographical information has been matched with speed readings. Where other data sources are available, such as traffic light, or intersection monitoring, car movement monitoring, or Bluetooth or WIFI (or other wireless) monitoring of people and/or cyclist or vehicle movements. The second part 80 of the graphical user interface shows speed profiles 82 at first second and third speed

percentages. This information may, for instance, be useful in identifying locations for follow up analysis, monitoring, police or speed camera locations. The analysis may comprise a comparison between data of different types, or with a change in characteristics. Analysis may also comprise a comparison, or combination of multiple geographic locations.

Figure 9 shows an alternative embodiment in which the graphical user interface 21 has a second part overlaid on the first part 20 in a distributed manner. That is to say a plurality of icons 90 are overlaid to form the second part. In the shown embodiment the icons are circles, however the shape may be varied. The shapes may also be used to be indicative of a characteristic of the geographical location. For instance the size of the circle may reflect a number or amount, such as the number of cars. In a preferred embodiment a third, or further, part of the graphical interface (similar to the above embodiments) may be displayed over the second part. This enables a series of parts of the graphical use interface to be built on each other to create a clear but complex presentation of the required information. Figure 10 demonstrates a possible further part 100 of the graphical user interface 21 . An alternative graphical representation of the data shown in Figure 9 is shown. In particular the information is collated or combined from a plurality of marker locations associated with geographical positons. This is reflected by the different street addresses located on each of the bars 101 -103 in the plots. The bars are divided into 3 sets in the shown example, each set being a different information type. In this case the types are differentiated by having a first direction, a second direction, or combined direction. This part 100 off the GUI (Graphical User Interface) may be shown in a separate window or may overlay the data. This enables the data to be visually linked to the broader information shown in the GUI. In preferred embodiments the part 100 may be overlaid, or presented at the same time as the first and second parts of Figure 8. This enables the system to show and group data in a plurality of ways to allow a user to see patterns or compared disparate information. Figure 1 1 demonstrates a more complex comparison of data in which multiple graphical representations are viewed in a part of the graphical user interface. This may alternatively be described as a second and third part of the graphical user interface. In the shown example a line drawing 1 1 1 of the average total daily vehicles is plotted across a time axis. Various data relating to this plotted data is then available in a tabular format 1 12. The tabular format may have further interaction points 1 15 to allow a comparison between data at different times 1 13 or time scales.

Figure 12 demonstrates that the data may be combined by the portal 1 , or a selection of the markers in the geographical locations and export 120 this to an external data provider. This can allow a user to review and prepare data, for instance by selection or reduction or calculation before it is presented to, for instance, the public, a contractor or a client etc. Figure 13 is a system diagram of the portal and associated components of the system and/or method. Data collection 139 is from manned or unmanned sensors. These may include physical readings, survey equipment, car logging sensors, traffic monitoring equipment, weather measurement, time measurement or loading of external data. The data may also include any sensors relating to time variable tasks, such as vehicle monitoring but also more broadly any time dependant tasks. Examples include road maintenance, sewer maintenance, utilities maintenance and management of pluralities of variable use services. The data may be collected by wired or wireless data sensors. In a particular

embodiment the on-site data may be uploaded 137 by a contractor or data collector. This may be collected in a first data collection location or database 136. This process may include preliminary processing or organisation of the data. This step may include loading the data into a cloud server from which the data can be received by the portal or system 131 . Alternatively the data collection may be automatic by a measurement system which is connected to a network, such as the internet. This provides real-time or regular updates to the system. In an

embodiment the system may include measurement devices comprising controlled or secure links to the server to allow updates without manual input.

In embodiments of the system the portal information may be used to feed back to the data collection. For instance the method may graphically identify efficient routing or organisation of the data collection140 and scheduling 138 and

maintenance of physical work or modification of the sensors or underlying elements. The system may comprise a scheduler or a generator for a scheduler. The scheduler is adapted to create a task list based on data collected at each data point. For instance the system may record the last time a service person checked the data point, or the number of failures at a point, or the number of cars at a point (location). The scheduler can then prioritise the importance of a location for a person, such as a service person to visit. This process may be controlled by an algorithm based on the needs of the location. The advantage of this system is that it allows the collected information sets to be viewed at each location or GPS point to create an accurate schedule. The schedule may further use the geographic location of the points, or information contained in the program to calculate or estimate a time of travel, or other schedule relevant characteristic, between the points.

The data, once collected and processed, can be received by the portal, or provided to the portal directly. However in other embodiments the data may first pass through a local authority 135 or council that may store and do basic analytics on the data. This step is often performed because the local authority has systems for processing the data before it can be published publically. Preferably this includes the formatting of the data into known templates. Preferably the portal, or remote storage location 131 , is a cloud based processor which is accessible over a network. The remote storage location is preferably networked to a plurality of databases for providing the information and at least one local user terminals. The local user terminal comprises a display and preferably a processor. Preferably a plurality of local user terminals 130 are connected, or connectable to the portal 131 . In a preferred embodiment the system comprises a importation means for importing data from a council, authority or third party database. This allows quick interconnection to a known database. In other embodiments data can be included in data sets as with measured data. In further embodiments the system is adapted to output data in a known format. This can be used to provide required data to a third party database, or person. In some embodiments the input and output means can be similar. This enables the system to read data from a third party data base, analyse the data based on location points, or other information in the system, and return the data to the third party database. This process may be automated and/or in real-time.

When a user on a local user terminal 130 requests information from the remote storage location the data is processed and delivered to the local user terminal. The information is preferably transmitted over the internet, and/or to a web browser based interface. The browser interface provides a largely machine independent interface to the system. The data processing is preferably performed in part of the portal and in part on the user terminal. The amount of processing in each location may be variable based on the power of the local user terminal 130. Preferably pre-processing of the required information is performed by the portal and local processing is limited to selection of information and creation of graphics. A person skilled in the art would understand that this processing location may be varied. Figure 12 shows the presentation level code sent to the web browser 132. In an alternative embodiment the data processing is performed in the cloud or on a web accessible server. The server is configured to process the information and provide a substantially completely analysed information to the client side. The system is based on server side development as opposed to client development. The system is preferably structured to allow multiple servers to be used in order that improved performance can be achieved without requiring high performance user terminals. In preferred embodiments of the invention the system can be separated into a plurality of modules. This enables additional functionality and adaptation of the system to be introduced. Modules are preferably based upon the functionality e.g. Graphing module, KPI module, file load module and graphics engine module. The modules are preferably scripted in sever based PHP code. In an example the system uses a modular plugin system. A series or plurality of modules may be adapted for reading and retrieving information from new file types or datasets. If a match is found between a module type and a dataset the information can be inspected and added to the system. Alternatively a message may prompt for a further module to be added or a new module may have to be developed. The system then uses the module plugin to cache file data into a database stored on the server for quick retrieval into a browser based front end. Because the module plugin is separated the remaining system can then

manipulate and format the data according to a user's requirements without having to search the data in the original format. For data sets which are used less regularly a reloading process may be required after a period of time.

In described embodiments the invention includes a plurality of processors. These processers may include logic, microprocessors, FPGAs or other computational means. The processors may be a part of, or parts of, a computer system, laptop, tablet or other personal electronic device but are not limited to these devices. The described embodiments include transmission or communication between these processors that may include wired or wireless communication, including over networked or internet systems.

The data in any one or more of the databases associated with the system may include any one or more of the following data types:

Status (e.g. activity or maintenance performed);

Location on map;

Aerial photographs;

Key performance indicators;

HCV Class toggle;

Weather e.g. from weather underground, Metservice or other weather source, including network sources;

Cyclists and/or Pedestrians - e.g. wireless monitoring of electronic device outputs;

Photos of intersections or traffic;

NZTA data including references;

Live/historic travel times;

SCATs data streaming;

CAS;

Road hierarchy;

Live status monitoring of each site (traffic, or action);

Live status monitoring of contract progress (visual) (over multiple sites);

Integrated speed limit details; and/or

Integration of pedestrian and cyclist data (including data streaming with weather details)

The system may also analyse a variety of possible comparisons or data.

Examples of the analyses or data to be reviewed include:

searching for particular characteristics;

downloads of files, e.g. word, excel, graphic snapshots, tables from graphs. These include speed exported graphs/tables to Excel/Word. This may allow the combination of multiple sites or other data types; export to external sources (e.g. RAMM) Export to RAMM, upload data table from contractor with contractor/client interface with user specified time period for selected data;

analytics of individual sites and selected sites by type, characteristics or key words;

individual or multiple site selection based on user preference or set criteria (e.g. reviewing only arterial roads);

identification of future counting sites to allow count to be brought forward for a particular investigation to enable improvement of the maintenance of the assets, e.g. road network;

identification of gaps in counting program or scheduling to provide comprehensive information on network;

before/after comparisons, historical comparisons/changes/trends; and/or reviews of gaps in data (sites not counted in last 5 years)

Graphical outputs may include any one or more of the following:

changing time intervals; such as 15 minutes, or 1 hr, or per day;

toggling between different time intervals: days/weekdays/weekends;

volume vs Speed;

comparison over multi-years, multi-sites or known collectors or collection means;

speed limit v threshold;

summary data table of KPIs (ADTs, 85 percentile seeds, %HCVs);

graph directional/both directions, toggle weekdays/weekends/individual days/zoom in by time or volume on;

volume hour by hour on the hour (6-7am, 7-8am etc);

volume hour by hour in 15min intervals (6.00-7.00am, 6.15-7.15am etc); daily volumes thru course of week;

85%ile speeds including speed limit;

volumes per hour thru 7-day week with and without weather every 5 hours; multi-site selection and graphical comparisons of 5-day ADTYs/7day

ADTs/7-day No.HCVs/85%ile speeds.

It should be understood that these are examples and a person skilled in the art would understand modifications may be made to these examples. Different embodiments of the invention allow a number of features to be included. For example embodiments provide a centralised storage of data and integrated, analytics, to allow access and management through a data centre or cloud based structure. This also may include various levels of security and access, including geographically limiting data or changing the data accessible to different users and/or the public. The single integrated database for all of an area e.g. Auckland, New Zealand, Christchurch also removes the redundancy of legacy storage systems such as CDs and provides users with easier accessibility to data. This includes allowing accessibility of data to multiple users simultaneously, and allowing contractors doing data collection to self-maintain the data. This includes incorporating a broad range of data so that special requests, or 1 -off jobs & data, are included and visible to other users. This self-maintenance of the data also allows live status indication of events, fast access to recent/urgent count data, data on demand and exporting of files to users. These features then require less staff time managing the traffic count data as well as achieving better monitoring of traffic counting contracts and allowing users the ability to consider strategic issues. The system is also adapted to integrate innovative technologies (e.g. temp loops, radar etc), new and different data sources can be integrated, with visibility due to the mapping of the data. The system is scalable and dynamic by changing of the database or improvements in the analyses, including the provision of additional reporting for specific needs. Figure 14 shows an embodiment of the system where comparisons or collections of different information sets are shown overlaid on the map 24 or location display. Line chart 140 compares volumes and speeds at the location at different times. The overlaid data also retrieves the different directions in which vehicles are travelling and enables easy comparison of these features. If required further graphs or images of these values can also be calculated.

The foregoing description of the invention includes preferred forms thereof. Modifications may be made thereto without departing from the scope of the invention.

Claims

What we claim is
1 . A method of managing information in a graphical user environment, the method comprising or including the steps of,
providing a first dataset containing first information of a first type about a plurality of vehicles for a geographical location for a first period of time, the information comprising at least one characteristic of the plurality of vehicles,
providing the first dataset, or a second dataset, containing second information, the second information comprising any one or more of:
information of the first type for a second set period of time for the same geographic location;
information of a second type for the same first set period of time and same geographic location; or
information of the first type for the same first set period of time for a different geographic location,
storing the first and/or second datasets in a storage location connected, or connectable, to a local user terminal having a graphical user interface,
analysing a first set of results from the first information and the second information on the storage location,
identifying a plurality of geographic locations and presenting a visual display of the plurality of geographic locations on first part of the graphical user interface,
receiving a first input from the local user terminal and presenting the first set of results on a second part of the graphical user interface laid over, or separate from, the first part,
receiving a second input from the local user terminal and presenting a graphical display of the first information and second information on a third part of the graphical user interface laid over, or separate from, the first part,
whereby the user can analyse graphically the data for the plurality of geographic locations.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein the step of receiving a first input and/or receiving a second input comprise a user interaction with one or more features associated with displayed geographical location.
3. The method of either one of claims 1 or 2 wherein the step of receiving a second input comprises the step of allowing a user of the local user terminal to select a portion of the first information and second information for further analysis.
4. The method of any one of claims 1 to 3 wherein the first dataset and/or the second dataset provide a plurality of types comprising at least one or more of:
vehicle numbers,
vehicle type,
vehicle speed, or
vehicle direction.
5. The method of any of claims 1 to 4 wherein the first dataset and/or the second dataset, comprise a plurality of characteristics of the plurality of vehicles.
6. The method of any one of claims 1 to 5 wherein the first dataset and the second data are stored in different formats and/or are received from different sources.
7. The method of any one of claims 1 to 6 wherein the geographic location is a GPS co- ordinate or street reference.
8. The method of any one of claims 1 to 7 wherein the geographic location is constant for substantially all the information the first and/or second dataset or varies for information in the first and/or second dataset.
9. The method of any one of claims 1 to 8 comprising the step of transmitting the first dataset and/or second data set, or a portion thereof, to a local user terminal in raw data format.
10. The method of any one of claims 1 to 9 comprising the step of transmitting the graphical display to the local user terminal for in a downloadable image format.
1 1 . The method of any one of claims 1 to 10 wherein the storage location is remote and connected or connectable to the local user terminal by a network.
12. The method of any one of claims 1 to 1 1 comprising a plurality of datasets, each dataset containing information comprising a type, period of time and geographic location.
13. The method of any one of claims 1 to 12 comprising the step of importing the first dataset and/or the second dataset from a database.
14. The method of any one of claims 1 to 13 wherein the step of storing the datasets comprises associating the datasets or information in the datasets based on the geographical location of the dataset, or information in the dataset.
15. The method of claim 14 wherein the method of presenting a visual display of a plurality of geographical locations comprises presenting a display of a plurality of dataset options for additional information to be displayed.
16. The method of claim 15 wherein the first input and/or the second input comprise a selection of at least one of the plurality of dataset options.
17. The method of any one of claims 1 to 16 wherein the second type of data is any one or more of pedestrian movement and speed, weather, crash data.
18. A method of managing information in a graphical user environment, the method comprising or including the steps of,
receiving data from a database or databases containing first information about vehicles for a geographical site for a first set period of time,
receiving data from the same database, or a further database, second information, being: of the first type for a second set period of time for the same geographic location, or information of a second type for the same first set period of time and same geographic location, or information of the first type for the same first set period of time for a difference geographic location,
wherein the various databases are stored in a remote storage location that is connected, or connectable, to a local user terminal having a graphical user interface, analysing a first set of results from the first information and/or second information and storing this in the remote storage location,
displaying each said geographic location on a map and presenting the map and geographic locations on first part of the graphical user interface,
receiving a user interaction with one or more features associated with
geographical location(s) displayed on the map and displaying the first set of results on a second part of the graphical user interface laid over, or separate from, the first part.
19. A method as claimed in claim 17 comprising the steps of:
receiving a user interaction selecting content from the first information and second information for further analysis;
analysing the selected content on the local user terminal; and
displaying the analysis graphically on a third part of the graphical user interface of the local user terminal.
20. A method as claimed in claim 17 wherein the information comprises any one or more of vehicle numbers, vehicle type, speed, direction.
21 . A method substantially as herein described with reference to any one or more of the accompanying figures.
PCT/IB2016/055427 2015-09-10 2016-09-12 Improvements in, or relating to, vehicle, infrastructure and roading measurement and management WO2017042752A1 (en)

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Patent Citations (5)

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20060158330A1 (en) * 2002-03-05 2006-07-20 Andre Gueziec Traffic information dissemination
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