#vanlife is becoming increasingly popular (the number of registered recreational vehicles has doubled in Norway in the last decade), and has seen huge increase in demand during the pandemic, as people look for safe, sustainable. and personal ways to travel.
Increased demand means increased competition for the prized sites, particular during peak season. The Vantu app serves the demand by identifying potential camper-van sites along a given route, using the power of artificial intelligence and aerial land monitoring to surface options that would otherwise by unnoticed.
Vantu provides a digital companion app enabling independent, personal discovery of the Norwegian wilderness. It moves away from social echo chambers (visit/rate/review), which inevitably lead to over-visited destinations, and creates additional tourist capacity, spreading the demand in peak season.
Vantu's intelligent learning AI enables you to keep exploring on your own terms, and find the perfect private site for you and your travel companions.
The Vantu App is a free app, that is upgradable to a pro version with an annual subscription fee.
|Free version||Upgraded version|
- Scale to new markets
Phase 1: Norway (MVP pilot)
Phase 2: Right to roam markets: Sweden, Finland, Scotland.
Phase 3: Rest of Europe, New Zealand, US, Canada.
- Sister applications
Once the underlying technology has been developed, we can spawn 'sister' applications providing similar services to different niche audiences (e.g, Boatu, Tentu)
- Selling data
We will gather data on how #vanlifers travel throughout Norway (How long do they stay?, where do they travel?). We can sell this data to interested parties (ie Amadeus)
- Fee-based partnerships
Partnerships with campervan rental companies (e.g Cabin Campers, Arctic Campers) to provide the service to camper van rental customers
Our research revealed that most #vanlifers prefer intuitive exploration over detailed journey planning. Not only when setting out on a trip, and also in the moments before setting up camp, at the perfect spot. We encourage our users to #LeaveNoTrace in nature and to clean up after themselves (through push notifications, and behavioural nudges). The sites should be ready to be rediscovered by new adventurous visitors later. We reflect this value digitally too - by not exposing all newly discovered sites to the wider public - we leave no trace digitally as well as physically.
🛰️ EU space technologies
Our application combines an array of datasets (as 512x512px raster images) to provide input to our Machine Learning model:
- Copernicus' Land Monitoring data
- Sentinel 2 multispectral (12 layers)
- Norwegian Space Agency (height map)
- Open Streetmap (query by feature)
Combined with training data labels manually scraped from an existing peer to peer site sharing app (5 star camper-van sites surrounded by nature).
The data at these geographical coordinates is then fed to a 'Yolo' object detection model (fast & good for realtime analysis, and a proven / widely used model), which we would then apply to wider areas in order to retrieve our newly discovered potential camper-van sites.
A validation step would use the Norwegian national roads database (NVDB), in combination with Open Street Map & Kartverket to check for accessibility by road & foot, as well as land ownership. We would apply a 100m GIS buffer to ensure we comply with local 'right to roam' laws, and park at least 100m from the nearest residential building. Laws and boundaries differ from country to country, and any new markets would be launched respecting local laws and legislation.
As a final important step to promote privacy we will use Galileo GNSS data to check locations for level of activity to inform a site's 'privacy' rating.
UX prototype repository
🏖️ (Re)Visit Europe
- Finding sustainable destinations
- Exploring nature with care
- Tom - a Digital Product Engineer, consultant at Volvo Cars, with experience in design & data visualisation.
- Educational background: BSc in Electronic Imaging & Media Communication, with an MA in Graphic Design from London College of Communication.
- Lasse - a Civil Engineer, working at Sørlandet Sykehus, experienced at managing large scale IT infrastructure projects.
- Educational background: B.Sc.Eng in Interaction Design and M.Sc.Eng in Product Development & Innovation from the University of Southern Denmark.
- Jan - a Business Sustainability Manager, working at Bølgen Bærekraftsenter as event manager, experienced in innovation and entrepreneurship.
- Educational Background: BA Science of Education from the Justus-Liebig-Universität, Gießen and a degree in business sustainability management from the University of Cambridge.