A number of villages near Stirling, concerned about local air quality, had come together to create a smart village network, deploying a range of air quality measurement sensors.
One of the participating villages was Thornhill. Located on the busy A84 route to the Trossachs, a popular tourist destination, the village was frequently passed through by haulage, commuter, tourist and agricultural vehicles. Information about traffic passing through Thornhill would help the network explore how pollution from vehicles could impact the air quality.
To increase the insights which could be gathered from the air quality and weather data across the village, Digiflec, working with Stirling Council, installed a single surround LiDAR system in the village.
The purpose of this system was simple but crucial: to count the vehicles passing through the village, group them into categories and note their speed and direction. This information added valuable detail to the existing data, helping to provide a fuller understanding of the impact of pollution from vehicles on the local air quality.
Data For The Whole Community
The surround LiDAR system was able to provide a complete picture of traffic volumes and vehicle types using the route. In January 2022, a total of 75,104 vehicles passing through the village, divided into three categories of ‘buses and trucks’, ‘vans’ and ‘cars’. The vehicles were categorised by size and shape, rather than individually identifying features (which LiDAR cannot gather) to ensure compliance with privacy laws.
The data was made freely available via an online dashboard, which displayed data in a number of different ways. This meant that all the members of the smart village network could access and explore it for different purposes and applications.
In Thornhill, Digiflec took LiDAR out of its usual industrial environment and into Scotland’s working countryside.
This innovative and community-centric approach to LiDAR data collection, diverging from standard uses, reveals potential new applications of the technology that could aid local communities in their journey towards net zero emissions.