Growing cities faces many challenges- Building New Suburbs, Higher Maintenance Cost, Limited Resources. At Civilise.ai, we are developing an innovative platform using AI-technologies to support land developers, land agencies & local councils in urban planning decisions and suburb maintenance process
At Civilise.ai, we are reinventing the urban development process by using AI technologies to design better cities. In addition to design, our system is capable of analysing and scoring existing or proposed designs according to best practice metrics.
Why are we revolutionary?
1) Reduces months of urban planning for state governments / local councils & land developers.
2) Allow for multiple iterations in a short period of time
3) Eliminates human error
Our customer segments are:
1) State Governments
2) Land Developers
3) Local Councils
After engaging with the Suburban Land Agency & two land developers, we've gained insights into which metrics are essential in suburban planning. A particular metric of interest to our stakeholders is walkability (i.e. how accessible are commercial districts, schools, and public transit access points to pedestrians).
Currently for a suburb development process, the state government or land developer will engage multiple consultants (geospatial, urban , flood management , design etc etc) to effectively work on a model. Although it gets the job done, it is a time consuming & expensive process.
We are reinventing the process using machine learning to autonomously generate a suburb design with the desirable metrics and past suburbs designs that has previously been incorporated into our AI model.
Countries in the Southeast Asian region are developing rapidly. Civilise.ai aim is to be at the forefront of supporting urban development for countries such as Vietnam, Myanmar , Malaysia etc etc. Not only can our AI model be used just for suburb design, should a natural disaster hit a city, our model could be used to develop a new optimised design for that city in a post-crisis environment. Recently, we've been approached on the other potential aspects of our software whereby a grant was offered for us to develop a design model for a plant regenerative farm using our AI model.
Currently, we're in the midst of prototyping our software and testing out with various stakeholders in Canberra. Should it succeed, we would be able to work on designing suburbs and other land designs for at least 3 different countries in a year, provided that geospatial data can be acquired.
What's wrong with our cities? The problem in Australia is that urban designs are complicated and at a certain point, planners accept good enough as good enough. The money and time available restricts the quality of the output.
At Civilise.ai, we're developing a new AI land design tool to solve this issue. How does the government & land developer benefit from this? Well, our innovative tool enables their current designs to be scored & evaluated, as well as being able to generate new urban designs that focus on improving the quality of life for those in urban areas.
Our team consists of developers with AI & Computer Science background. We've had interest from land developers, governments agencies at state and local level. A particular short term commerical opportunity is with a local council. We're looking for a mentor that has experience commercialising a SaaS product.
At Civilise.ai, our target customers are:
1. Private land developers
2. Government (land agencies)
3. Local councils
At this stage as we're bootstrapping and dealing with a relative small pool of customers in the B2B and B2G segment, we approach our customers through direct channels such as Linkedin & email. Currently, this approach has a 65% success rate and has lead to direct meetings with live demonstrations.
In the future, we hope to present our technology at specific industry conferences to attract a broader customer base.
Most importantly, our team is trying to make a difference larger than ourselves. The issues impacting the world 10 years from now is the rising urban challenges. We're a diverse team hailing from various countries in certain parts of Asia and Australia that has allow us to draw experience from urban living in different parts of the world. Some highlights from our team include:
1. Founder - Previously the Network Design Engineer for the original NBN Passive Fibre Rollout. Also worked on two previous startups that has developed entrepreneurial experience.
2. Software Developers- Strong team of Masters & Undergraduates from Artificial Intelligence , Software Engineering & Computer Science field.
3. Business Development- Previously worked on a special industry for National Australia Bank which resulted in a successful tender in gaining Transport Canberra's digitialisation payment contract in ACT.
To further improve and provide value to the industry, something that has limited our potential is open source geospatial datasets. Currently, our capabilities is limited to the ACT Region from ACT Government's ACTMAPi open source data. Therefore, resources that will help take us to the next step is:
1) Geospatial datasets for the entire coverage of Australia
2) Urban design specialists that could provide feedback/insights on our technology
3) Having a stronger network of Development Managers from private land developers or the government's land agencies to help co-create features to solve their many challenges in their work scope.
What we are seeking (Total- $12,000) :
1. Technical Expenditure
• $10,200 (Geospatial Imagery from Digital Globe costing $850 per month for 12 months- https://platform.digitalglobe.com/maps-api/)
2. Sales & Marketing Expenses
• $435 (Ticket cost to a conference hosted by Planning Institute of Australia - https://www.planning.org.au/events/event/2018-planet-advantages-and-costs-of-sustainable-design-for-developers)
3. Legal Expenditure
• $1200++- (SaaS Terms of Service agreements) - http://generalstandards.co/au/saas-terms-of-service/
As we are set to develop our first ever pilot project with the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council, we would require highly optimised recent imagery from Digital Globe for 12 months. We're aiming to approach and work on projects with an additional 5 different councils in the ACT & NSW region by year end 2019, which will allow us to be self-sufficient on data subscription from then onwards. Furthermore, we forecast legal expenses to be incurred for the terms of service for our software in order to protect our intellectual property and data security.
As for the ticket costs ($435) to Planning Institute of Australia's conference, we believe that would be the prime conference to allow us to showcase our Oak software to a room full of land developers and professional planners.
1. Landcom (Kevin Lam, Development Manager) - Received insights from a development manager's point of view in regards to the challenges they faced in suburban development planning & execution. Provided critical feedback on the features he would like to see become a reality to solve his issues which is having a system that could evaluate & iterate designs quickly. We're delivering the value by actually co-developing that system for Landcom.
2. Ginninderry ( Hoa Lin, Design Manager)- Provided feedback on key metrics that a suburb should ideally be designed on, which is walkability. Currently, Civilise.ai has almost fully develop this particular metric and would soon be looking into integration for with the design system.
3. Suburban Land Agency (Angela Hauzer, Project Manager)- Detailing the key process for a suburb planning. Provided several networks in the ACT region to further get our name out in the industry.
4. Peet Ltd (Caroline Whitelum, State Marketing Manager)- Key developer in the Googong township. Currently, Peet is provided us data on the design plan to allow our system to experiment & test those datasets.
1) Private Land Developers- Oak platform
2) Government (Land Agencies)- Oak platform
3) Local Councils- Eagle platform.
4) Urban Planning Consultants- Oak platform (currently exploring this option)
5) Other secondary customers that want us to build one off models
For our Eagle platform that provides image detection through computer vision, we have found out that each & every different councils have different budgets and any expense above $100,000 would require federal government approval.
"Too expensive Amount"- Anything above 30% of their budget allocated to software.
"Too cheap amount" - For Government tenders & major corporation, the feedback was "the cheaper the better"
"Hard choice Amount"- 15-25% of their budget allocated to software.
"Good Value Amount"- Generally 7.5%- 15% of their budget allocated to software.
Something that we've found out from a particular Regulatory Agency (can't mention due to sensitivity issues) is that, although procuring software above $100,000 is uncommon, it all depends on how much costs & efficiency it could save. This particular agency spend a total of $160,000 on an aerial image data provider & yet still requires a manual worker to work through the data. Therefore, this presents a significant opportunity for our Eagle platform to automate the process.