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Smart cities in Asia: China can’t be ignored

Smart cities in Asia: China can’t be ignored
More and more, smart cities in Asia are springing up, due to rapid urbanization across the region, which is then turning to smart technologies to solve various municipal issues. In this regard, China can’t be ignored. Needless to say, smart city development has become a major trend across the globe due to urbanizati
More and more, smart cities in Asia are springing up, due to rapid urbanization across the region, which is then turning to smart technologies to solve various municipal issues. In this regard, China can't be ignored.

Needless to say, smart city development has become a major trend across the globe due to urbanization. A recent study by Frost & Sullivan found that by 2050, over 80 percent of the population in developed countries is expected to live in cities. With this trend, however, come various municipal issues that are tough for cities to handle. They therefore turn to technology to make themselves more livable, thus becoming smart cities.

A region that's seeing rapid smart city developments is Asia. “Rapid growth in Asia's urbanization trend has led to increased traffic, overcrowded public transport, rising crime, poor air quality and sanitation, and inefficient operations as city managers struggle to keep up. The new generation of deep learning-driven video analytics can improve security and safety by automating the monitoring process and alerting operators only when human intervention is needed,” said Zvika Ashani, CTO of Agent Vi. “For smart cities, computer intelligence can enhance daily life by streamlining operations: smooth the flow of people and/or vehicles, crowd control and queue management.”

China, in this regard, is among Asian countries that have done particularly well. The same Frost & Sullivan shows that in Asia, more than 50 percent of smart cities will be in China by 2025, and smart city projects will generate US$320 billion for China's economy by that year.

One major driver for this growth is the government's commitment to smart city building and development. According to a report by PwC, at the 19th Party Congress Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the building of a smart society. Accelerating the construction of smart cities along with the coordinated development of new urbanization look like two particularly crucial steps in pursuing this goal, the report said.

“The Chinese government is investing huge sums of money, pouring it into any kind of smart city solution to solve problems of transport, management and security,” said Yaron Shafrir, China Business Development Director at Agent Vi.

According to Shafrir, the huge populations of Chinese cities necessitate the use of technologies, especially video, for more effective management. “In China, the main challenge is the enormous amount of people. All other challenges stem from this, from street cleaning and maintenance to traffic management,” he said. “China is number one in camera manufacture and Agent Vi is cooperating with all the big manufacturers. They know that that cameras must have ‘smart vision.' Video analytics make cameras smart, and, in turn, make a city more secure. How? Because when people know they're being monitored, the crime rate goes down. If someone's illegal parking is detected, and the person is fined, they won't park that way again.”

According to Shafrir, their solutions have been deployed in different Chinese cities for applications from traffic management to waste management.

“For traffic situations, such as stopped vehicles on the roadside, or illegal parked cars, Agent Vi's savVi product offers video analytics that detect these scenarios in real-time, and savVi's video search capability can be used in post-event investigation,” he said. “Illegal dumping of trash is another big environmental problem where video analytics can help. We've conducted a pilot in a major Chinese province where they want to know who is depositing trash outside the bins. We successfully applied our deep learning-driven video analytics product to video feed from already installed city cameras to detect and alert to this behavior. The city saves on waste management manpower, which is becoming more and more expensive in China, and the city is cleaner.”


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