“We want to be a partner of choice for public services in an ever-changing world”
In Roeselare and Zonhoven, where the Mobile Mapping project’s pilot phase is taking place, cameras on bpost vehicles film the traffic signs along the road. It allows the municipalities to notice damaged traffic signs more quickly, so they can immediately carry out repairs. “During their daily runs, our postmen’s vans travel almost everywhere,” explains Diana Collinet, who is coordinating this pilot project as Sales Director Public Sector at bpost group.
Smart image processing
“Our cameras are constantly filming the streets and roads. Those images are then processed using machine learning.” All road signs are detected and classified, including their location, keeping the public services road sign database up-to-date. On the other hand, the images show at a glance the signs’ condition on each municipality’s territory, making the public services aware of the signs that need to be repaired or replaced.”
This data can also be supplemented with road accident figures and traffic regulations. “It allows cities to make proposals through artificial intelligence to improve traffic situations,” says Diana Collinet. Faces of citizens and number plates are automatically blurred out in order to fully respect the privacy legislation.
“In Roeselare, for example, we detected with great accuracy the road signs that needed maintenance,” says Diana Collinet. In a next phase, cities can use the technology to record the road surface condition, so that they can address holes in the road or faded road markings. Mapping street furniture such as benches and bins is also one of the options. “We are even looking at whether the system can be used for litter detection,” says Collinet. “This is how we make cities safer and cleaner with our technology.”
“Our Mobile Mapping has won Technology Federation Agoria’s Smart City Award.”
Smart City Award
In the meantime, the project in Roeselare has won Technology Federation Agoria’s Smart City Award. Together with its partners, who, among other things, developed the algorithms for artificial intelligence and supplied the camera hardware, bpost group aims to complete the test phase of the project in the second quarter of 2021. The intention is to turn it later into a commercial product. “We plan to offer our services to any interested city or municipality in the near future,” says Diana Collinet.
With this innovative Mobile Mapping technology, bpost group proves that as an organization it can make a significant contribution to social cohesion in society. “We want to be a partner of choice for public services today and tomorrow, in an ever changing world,” concludes Diana Collinet. “With our services we support the authorities in their digital transformation. And the citizen also gains from it.”
On-site delivery of passports and driver’s licenses
In Antwerp and Brussels, citizens can have their new passport or driver’s license delivered to an address of their choice. This can be home or the workplace, and can be done whenever it suits them. It allows municipalities to save their residents an extra trip to the town hall. For this service they call upon the expertise and know-how of bpost group’s subsidiary DynaGroup. The Dutch company has been delivering identity documents at home for some time now. “DynaGroup has a separate business unit – Dynasure – that specializes in the safe and reliable delivery of valuable documents for governments, banks and insurers,” says CEO Stephan van Mulken. “After the launch of this service in the Netherlands, we also started it up in Antwerp a few years ago, followed by Brussels. Such a service naturally requires the correct certification and the necessary skills from our delivery staff. They are trained in physical identity checks and specific verification questions.” bpost group has already rolled out many initiatives linking authorities and citizens, thus strengthening the social role of the postal company. Delivering passports and driver’s licenses at a location of one’s choice, with a focus on both customer friendliness and efficiency, is fully in line with this socially committed vision.