31/10/13 - The Dynamics of Static Speedcams: Q&A with Cyclops
UK-based Cyclops is one of the few global providers of speed camera database. This type of dataset very common in Western Europe has become a must have for GPS navigation software in a number of new countries over the last few years.
Unlike common knowledge, managing a database of fixed speed cameras is far from a static business. Some countries are experiencing a fast growth of installation and in other places locations of cameras are changed.
To learn more about that GPS Business News spoke with Steve Wreford, Executive director and founder at Cyclops, a global provider of speedcam location data headquartered in the United Kingdom.
GPS Business News: Cyclops has been around for about 10 years, what brought you to this market?
Steve Wreford: We launched on the back of rapid growth of speedcams in the UK market during 2001-2002 manufacturing and selling our dedicated Cyclops GPS Driver Safety System in our domestic market through retail chains such as Halfords and as an approved accessory with car companies such as Nissan, Fiat, Ford and PSA. But we understood early on that the dedicated device market would be overtaken by PND devices and latterly smartphones. We then focused on widening our coverage to Europe and beyond while at the same time providing our content for our partners offering PND, mobile and OEM navigation.
GPS BN: What is the status of your database coverage today?
SW: We have 85,000 fixed cameras and official mobile enforcement sites currently on file across 41 countries in 5 continents. More coverage will be released during Q4 too.
GPS BN: In preparing this interview I was surprised to learn how much it changes. Can you share some numbers on that?
SW: Yes. We manage about 35,000 changes per year in the database. There is an important trend in new installations that represent 18 per cent growth in the markets we cover. Countries with the highest growth have been Denmark, Slovenia and Australia, 98, 70 and 40 per cent growth respectively. If we add to that new countries that we are opening, it made 33 percent growth between 2012 and 2013.
GPS BN: So what is the process to keep this under control and provide quality data to your customers?
SW: First our in-house research team liaises directly with official agencies and local media. We get first-hand information on new programmes and commissioning of new sites. We track local media and online resources. Unlike others we don’t rely on our customers to do our job for us and then charge them for the pleasure! Very often we know about new cameras long before they go in the ground.
Then our team of locally based surveyors visit new sites and photo-verify each one. Exact position down to 1m, speed limit, camera type, direction, road geometry are collected for each site.
We have digital, geo-tagged images for each and every static site in our database – no other supplier has this data integrity. Our survey team which comprises 25 people, drives over 300,000 miles a year across 5 continents in pursuit of the highest quality data.
Finally our Database team update production database in real-time and release to user/client data feeds.
GPS BN: Some of your competitors are using crowdsourcing to spot new camera locations, what’s your differentiation then?
SW: Crowd sourcing has several inherent weaknesses. It can never deliver exact positional data. There are false reports from users who don’t understand camera types and so report non-speedcam locations such as traffic cctv. Often new cameras are not spotted for a long time. This type of database is often very weak outside of urban areas. Last but not least there is the inherent generation of duplications, wrong speed limits etc. Professional verification is the only way to generate accurate, reliable, OEM grade content.
GPS BN: Have any recent changes to the legal position in some countries affected business?
SW: The German legislative body recently decided not to review the law use of GPS based speed camera alerts. This has given many navigation providers, in particular auto OEM’s the confidence to begin offering speed camera content in this market too. This is helping to grow the market.
GPS BN: What new business have you signed recently?
SW: In addition to recently launched signed agreements with Navmii and Harman in the OEM sector for premium content, we have full pipeline of programmes in development for new clients. We have some exciting OEM app/API based developments nearing release and we will be making some announcements on these and other business gains in the near future.
GPS BN: Why are you seeing such growth at this stage?
SW: Recent consolidation and exits from the market place by existing suppliers has created opportunities for stable and expanding suppliers like us who can offer a global one-stop shop for quality speedcam content. New growth is also coming from our widening coverage particularly from emerging, high growth markets such as South America.
I believe that drivers recognise the value of high quality, paid for content against poor quality crowd sourced data. Clients too have been deserting the low grade content providers who offer cheap site licences and offer no QA processes or customer service. Finally clients also recognise that a high quality static content database is a pre-requisite for an effective real-time service.
GPS BN: Thank you very much.
SW: My pleasure.
18/09/13 - Cyclops Release Expanded Speed Camera Database Coverage
Cyclops, the leading provider of professionally verified safety camera database content and software, today announces further expansion of its global database coverage.
Recognising the importance of the emerging Latin American markets, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico have been added to offer clients and users comprehensive coverage of both North and South America.
Also added to Eastern Europe and Middle East regional coverage are Turkey, Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
The addition of these new areas takes Cyclops coverage to 41 markets and over 85,000 static and regular mobile enforcement sites. Collectively it represents the largest professionally verified database available in the market.
Premium quality content that drivers need and are willing to pay for is fast becoming a key content requirement for many LBS customers.
Steve Wreford, Director, Cyclops commented “We are pleased to be able to offer our clients a one-stop-shop for compelling, professional quality safety camera content. This expansion of our global footprint helps deliver a comprehensive service to Cyclops customers across all platforms. Furthermore this high quality database underpins our real-time services which are also expanding into new markets and with new partners.
Cyclops 2013 coverage now includes:
Argentina - NEW
Bahrain - NEW
Brazil - NEW
Kuwait - NEW
Mexico - NEW
Republic of Ireland
Turkey - NEW
United Arab Emirates - NEW
United States of America
03/01/2013 - CYCLOPS APP WINS AUTO EXPRESS “PRODUCT OF THE YEAR 2012”
Auto Express asked their experts which of all the products they have used and reviewed in 2012 were their favourites. They had this to say about our award winning app and why they chose it:
“Many Gatsos have been switched off due to budget cuts, but it only takes one to put points on your licence. So a speed camera detector app for your phone is essential to keep in touch with accident hotspots. The Cyclops Speedwatch app has stayed on our iPhone since our first test. It has a clear, easy-to-understand display, showing your speed and the current limit, as well as visual and audible alerts if you exceed it. And it hasn’t missed a camera in the past seven months”
11/10/12 - CYCLOPS AND TELMAP ANNOUNCE GLOBAL LIVE SERVICE CONTENT PARTNERSHIP
Cyclops, the global provider of premium quality, professionally verified, speed camera content and services today announces a global partnership with Telmap, an Intel company, to provide its’ community based, real-time, speed camera alert service in Telmap’s own mobile navigation applications and for its’ Mobile Network Operator customers worldwide.
The Cyclops service includes instant updates for all static camera types and real-time reports of currently active mobile speed enforcement locations reported from the driver community. The service is offered as part of the Telmap mobile location app (offering local search, mapping and navigation) that’s offered in a white label model through mobile operators across the world, as well as under Telmap’s own consumer brand, M8 your local mate (available for both Android and iPhone in the UK and Spain).
The speed camera information, provided by Cyclops, offers intrinsic value to Telmap users by combining ultra-reliable static camera alerts with real-time, verified alerts from the user community and the ability to report live alerts to other users with just a single touch of the mobile device screen. All live reports from the community are verified against current and historic user reports in the vicinity and against Cyclops’ 80,000 static and frequent mobile sites using intelligent algorithms and Cyclops’ proprietary Waypoint Technology TM ensuring only reliable alerts are received by drivers.
Cyclops has a growing community of 400,000 users from its own Speedwatch apps along with B2B partners offering Cyclops real-time content in connected PND, mobile navigation and OEM applications. This latest partnership will extend the availability of premium, real-time speed camera services to the millions of Telmap users around the world.
“This global partnership builds on our long relationship with Telmap and brings our premium quality real-time services to a wider global driver audience. We are very proud to be one of Telmap’s global content partners bringing valuable and highly effective real-time services to drivers. It’s great to see more and more drivers benefiting from our dynamic safety camera alert services to improve journey safety and to protect their licences.” – Steve Wreford, Director of Cyclops
“Part of our on-going mission at Telmap is to provide our users with the most relevant and reliable content available to improve the on-the-go experience and our partnership with Cyclops does exactly that by providing our users the most advanced speed cam information out there, providing them with a better driving experience.” – Tsipi Joseph, Director of Marketing - Telmap
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
14/06/12 - INTELLIGENT SPEED CAMERA ALERT APP – NOW EVEN MORE EFFECTIVE
- Upgraded award winning camera app now even better value
- Powerful new features make it easier to use
- Growing user community reaches 350,000 drivers
Speedwatch, from Cyclops, delivers key benefits including real-time warning for all speed camera types; accurate and timely data with no false alerts; instant personalised alerts delivered direct to the driver’s smartphone and it is simple, intuitive and easy to use. Speedwatch version 2.0 is available on a 14 day free trial followed by an annual subscription available for an introductory period, of only £9.99. Existing Speedwatch iPhone customers will automatically get the version 2.0 up-date.
The operation of the Speedwatch App is automatic and, once opened, does not require any user interaction in order to receive alerts or updates. Speedwatch 2.0 offers genuine background running which means that you can exit the app to play audio, make calls and even use other apps and still get audio tone and notification alerts when you approach speed cameras and go overspeed. Single button reporting means that the user only has to touch the screen once – the Cyclops smart server algorithms does all the hard work to filter and check alerts before they are issued to the community – this means it is easy, but most importantly, safe to use – so the user can focus on driving. The driver is also able to easily confirm if a previously reported live site is still active, or has moved away.
Speedwatch uses Cyclops’ Waypoint Technology, a unique and innovative geo-corridor system that provides ultra-reliable smart alerts. The UK and Ireland database includes over 20,000 professionally verified fixed and frequent mobile camera sites – the Speedwatch app also tells users when a mobile site is actually manned by a speed camera enforcement unit. The iPhone app has already seen over 75,000 downloads in the UK and Ireland since launch which has added to the wider community of more than 350,000 users which Cyclops partners bring from offering Speedwatch as a feature within their own navigation devices and applications.
The combination of smart alerts and the intelligent verification system means that Speedwatch is unquestionably the most reliable product on the market and avoids the irritating false alerts that are common with other less advanced systems.
Speedwatch data monitoring for both fixed and mobile cameras is based upon reports from official sources, and the community of Speedwatch users who provide instant updates on currently active enforcement sites.
The Cyclops database in the UK includes all fixed, variable, red light, red light and speed, average, temporary roadworks and mobile sites. In Ireland it includes all fixed and red light cameras and all Garda and Go Safe speed mobile enforcement units.
Speedwatch 2.0 is available on iPhone in the UK and Ireland through the iTunes app store. Further details including a demonstration video is available at www.speedwatchlive.com
For further press information please contact Chris Wakley on 07970 674612 or email: email@example.com
15/05/12 - Top of the Spotters - Cyclops Speedwatch wins Auto Express Recommended 2012
Our real-time, community based speed camera alert app has won the Auto Express Speed Camera Locator Group Test "Recommended" award for the second year in a row. Auto Express liked the audio visual warnings with voice alerts, clear display, consistently accurate alerts and simplicity of use - awarding it 4 stars and “a great app”.
Just wait till they see what we packed into Version 2.0 - its out very soon!
Watch this space for an announcement soon.
01/10/10 - World's First Intelligent Speed Camera App Launched - Released
Cyclops has announced the launch of the first truly intelligent live speed camera alert system. Using mobile connectivity to provide real-time updates, and the intelligence of Cyclops' own Waypoint system, event tracking software, and unequalled camera database; Cyclops Speedwatch tells users whenever a mobile camera site is actually manned by a speed camera enforcement unit.
Key benefits of the App include:
- Live protection against all camera types – including currently live mobile units – for ultimate driving confidence
- Accurate and real-time data – no false alerts
- Instant, personalised alerts delivered direct to your smartphone
- Simple to use and cost-effective
Speedwatch takes a major step forward in helping motorists stay within the law by using real-time technology and mobile communications to deliver intelligent alerts on a personalised basis:
- Pre-Announced Live Mobile Sites – the Cyclops research team add reports of upcoming live mobile enforcement cameras to the Speedwatch event tracking system, ensuring users get reliable alerts
- User Community feedback – Speedwatch users and other Cyclops database users report live mobile sites via their mobile device to the Cyclops Intelligent Verification system which includes smart software to check report validity against our historic data and other users reports
- Confidence Level – Speedwatch will automatically calculate the confidence level of any report to clearly inform users of the risk rating of each reported site
- Smart alerts – live alerts are sent to users using Cyclops own Waypoint Technology – smart geo-corridor software that means ultra reliable information, delivered in the right way, providing complete protection while out on the road.
This combination of smart alerts and the Intelligent Verification system means that Speedwatch is unquestionably the most reliable system on the market and avoids irritating false alerts that are common with other less advanced systems.
Speedwatch monitors both fixed and mobile speed cameras. It uses the Cyclops market-leading speed camera database, which contains over 60,000 professionally verified sites in 25 countries over 5 continents. Mobile camera alerts are based on reports from official sources and the community of Speedwatch users who provide instant updates on currently active enforcement sites.
Speedwatch is simple to use with an intuitive interface. Response from drivers who have tested the system has been highly positive. Comments include "Amazing App – can't leave home without it now!", "I've tried a few speed camera Apps before – Speedwatch is a breath of fresh air."
Steve Wreford, Director of Cyclops UK Ltd said: "We are delighted to launch the world's first truly intelligent real-time speed camera alert system. Whilst the software behind this App is complex, the intuitive interface is really easy to use and the benefits are immediate. To see what it's all about please download the free trial direct from iTunes or you can find out more at www.speedwatchlive.com "
Speedwatch is compatible with the iPhone. Other platforms, including Android, Nokia and Blackberry, will be launched in coming months. Speedwatch will be available initially via the UK and Ireland iTunes App stores – more countries will be added in the very near future.
Users can still download Speedwatch for a 30-day free trial! At the end of the trial period, the user has the choice of subscribing monthly (£1.99) or annually (£20.99), representing excellent value for money. These prices are valid for all download users at the end of their 30-day free trial. The Speedwatch App can be downloaded from iTunes, or you can find out more at www.speedwatchlive.com
Recent Speed Camera News
The Speedwatch launch coincides with some UK councils reviewing investment in their Safety Camera Partnerships and news reports that cameras are being removed. With over 5,000 fixed camera sites and 10,000 mobile zones, the UK has one of the highest ratios of cameras per head of population in Europe and despite council budget cutbacks, it is understood that no safety cameras are actually under consideration for wholesale removal. It appears that speed cameras are here to stay.
In fact budget cuts mean many Safety Camera Partnerships will focus resources on maximising coverage of enforcement across their areas using mobile speed enforcement vans and equipment – precisely the type of live mobile enforcement Speedwatch has been designed to deliver real-time alerts for. In the UK over 200 safety camera vans are active on the roads – and the highest risk for motorists is inadvertently exceeding the speed limit where random checks occur.
Notes to Editors:
Cyclops has been established since 2002, when the company launched its original Cyclops GPS Driver Safety system. Cyclops is now a global company supplying leading navigation and automotive brands with premium quality software and content services, with coverage extending across 25 countries.
There are over 200 mobile camera units regularly deployed in the UK to any one of a possible 10,000 target locations.
These are likely to increase as a result of recent changes to the funding of speed cameras. Speeding fines now amount to £78 million per annum, and there are around 6 million UK motorists with points on their licence.
The operation of the Speedwatch App is automatic and, once opened, does not require any user interaction in order to receive alerts or updates. Speedwatch uses GPS location data to compare the driver's position to the database of fixed and live camera locations in the App and so it is fully legal to use where laws allow use of GPS alert systems. It does not interfere with or detect any laser or radar signal from police enforcement equipment. Users must satisfy themselves that it is legal to use Speedwatch in their current location.
01/02/10 - Cyclops Eastern European Database - Released
Cyclops today announce the release of their Eastern European speed camera database. This database includes the first phase of coverage to include Poland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Greece and Russia. This database includes over 3,500 fixed camera sites and mobile enforcement zones - all fully verified by the Cyclops field survey team.
Using the latest GPS survey equipment our teams have covered many thousands of miles across Eastern Europe to ensure all camera data is absolutely 100% fully verified. Our survey teams visit each site using GPS survey cameras to record a geo-coded location image, camera type, speed limit enforced, camera direction, road geometry and feeding back any other relevant data to ensure reliable alert sequences are delivered to the end user for each and every site.
Steve Wreford, Director of Cyclops, commented, "This is yet another milestone in the continuing expansion of our premium quality, professionally verified, dynamic speed camera database coverage. The reason our content continues to be selected by leading navigation brands is due to our absolute commitment to data integrity and the benefits of this attention to detail combined with our unique Waypoint Technology to deliver the most reliable, accurate and meaningful user experience.
With well over 65,000 fixed and mobiles sites now live within our live global database, drivers from Vancouver to Vladivostok and from Narvik down to Naples now are using Cyclops to keep an eye on the road ahead.
2010 is shaping up to be an exciting year with more new market coverage to come along with the roll out of some great new dynamic content services.
01/09/09 - Cyclops Develops New Mobile App SDK
Cyclops UK, the worlds leading provider of fully verified, dynamic safety camera content today announced the availability of its latest SDK version specifically for the Mobile Navigation App market. The Software Development Kit allows developers of advanced mobile navigation applications for the most popular mobile application platforms including Apple, Android, Blackberry and Symbian, to simply and quickly port the full benefits of the Cyclops Waypoint Technology System into their service. This unique system delivers the most accurate and reliable alerts for safety camera regardless of the complexity of road layouts and camera locations.
Tailored geo-corridors are created for each and every camera site in the Cyclops database and the SDK reads the binary encrypted corridor data to deliver the appropriate alert ensuring users get the right alert, at the right time, every time.
The proven SDK helps users avoid the pitfalls of having to rely on poor quality user-generated content and simplistic alert triggers which mean false and unreliable alerts.
The combination of Cyclops Waypoint Technology SDK and their comprehensive, fully verified database means mobile navigation users across North America, Western and Eastern Europe and beyond can enjoy reliable and accurate safety camera alerts.
Cyclops- keeping an eye on the road ahead
24/07/09 - Cyclops Launch North America Database
Leading safety camera content provider, Cyclops UK, today announced the release of its USA database of fixed and mobile safety camera sites.
This launch marks the culmination of a detailed research and survey project across North America to verify the exact site location, speed limit, camera type and enforcement direction for each any every site.
With over 4500 fixed speed and red light cameras and thousands of regular and official mobile zones this new database will give users of US navigation systems the most up to date and reliable safety camera alerts.
Cyclops UK is the worlds leading provider of fully verified, dynamic, safety camera information for use on personal, mobile and installed navigation systems.
Cyclops- keeping an eye on the road ahead
06/03/09 - Cyclops Launch Eastern European Database
Adding to its comprehensive Western and Northern European safety camera database coverage, Cyclops UK, the worlds leading provider of fully verified, dynamic safety camera content, today announces the release of its Eastern European databases.
Poland, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Greece are amongst the first additions to this regional coverage with Russia to follow shortly.
Cyclops offers a real-time update service for end users using connected navigation services enabling drivers to be secure in the knowledge that the latest data is always available for their journey.
Cyclops- keeping an eye on the road ahead
01/09/08 - Cyclops Announces New Mobile Navigation Partnership
Cyclops UK Ltd, the worlds leading provider of fully verified, dynamic safety camera content today confirmed signing of a strategic partnership with a leading global provider of mobile navigation services. The new partnership will see Cyclops real time database updates provided on a wide number of mobile handsets across Europe as part of a bundled deal for the end users. Each time the customer selects a new route the very latest database will be checked and the latest data on safety camera locations added to the route data download.
Cyclops- keeping an eye on the road ahead