Singapore starts $6.6m research program for building people-centric smart cities

The program will focus on smart city technologies, with a major focus on maintenance, repair, and overhaul of urban infrastructure and services.

Singapore starts $6.6m research program for building people-centric smart cities
Singapore starts $6.6m research program for building people-centric smart cities

Singapore starts $6.6m research program for building people-centric smart cities

The National University of Singapore (NUS) and Singapore Technologies (ST) Engineering have signed a $6.6 million deal on a multi-year research program to build a “people-centric smart future” for Singapore. A press statement from the pair says the research is for “Singapore, and beyond”, implying the work will be presented as a replicable template for other cities and nations to follow.

The program will focus on smart city technologies, with a major focus on maintenance, repair, and overhaul of urban infrastructure and services. The nitty-gritty of civic operations will be considered through a new digital lens, uniting five aspects; the statement positions these as: “resource optimization and scheduling; prescriptive analytics; decision and sense-making; reasoning engine and machine learning; and digital twin.”

Engineering group, ST Engineering said the money will go, in the first instance, into two key research projects to lay the foundations for further Industry 4.0 adventures. These are a new enterprise digital platform (EDP), to be established as the backbone for connected city services and operations, and an urban traffic flow management system to develop algorithms to alleviate traffic congestion.

The EDP is described as a flexible artificial intelligence (AI) platform, which will enable the synthesis of disparate data sources and other internal or external systems, to orchestrate cross-vertical data and insights from customers and partners. All AI models in the program will be integrated onto a common AI engine stacked within the EDP, said ST Engineering, for future re-use.

The traffic management initiative will pursue a “smoothening approach” based on traffic data analytics and AI technologies. Examples include traffic state estimation and prediction, in addition to effective active traffic control and management strategies identification and implementation. This will develop as incoming 5G, autonomous vehicle, and machine technologies mature.

Enterpriseiotinsights quoted Chen Tsuhan, professor and deputy president at NUS, as saying that as Singapore advances its position as a ‘smart nation’, having the right enterprise architecture to support those goals will determine if true digital transformation can be achieved. Over the years, NUS and ST Engineering have enjoyed a close and productive relationship.