Singapore takes the lead in smart city development in Southeast Asia

Singapore takes the lead in smart city development in Southeast Asia
Singapore earned the “Smart City of 2018” title at the Smart City Expo World Congress held in Barcelona yesterday, being recognized of the city state's initiatives and projects in urban innovation and industry transformation.

The range of solutions developed include dynamic public bus routing algorithms, real-time parent-teacher portals and predictive analytics for water pipe leaks, according to the event organizer.

The effort of Singapore government “not only enhances the city's functioning, but also improves the services provided to its citizens and through them their quality of life," said the Smart City Awards jury.

“Singapore's Smart Nation efforts are about the transformation of our country, through technology,” said Janil Puthucheary, Singaporean Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport & Ministry of Communications and Information. “We look forward to working with other cities to make all our cities smart together."

Focus on transportation sector

The Singapore government has partnered with conglomerate ST Engineering on several smart mobility projects, ranging from smart street lighting, rail enterprise asset management and autonomous bus network development.

In addition, a new checkpoint scanning system has been installed to detect concealed items in the bus more quickly. It had been a time consuming task when the check had to be done manually by officers. Now the officers can carry out the more targeted checks on specific parts on the bus, according to local media The Business Times.

At the airport, a more advanced security check mechanism will also be installed. A biometrics system with facial and iris identification capabilities may soon replace fingerprint scanning. The embedded liveliness technology is able to verify if the biometrics come from a real person or an image.

Taking the lead in ASEAN

Singapore is also helping Vietnam in its smart city initiatives. ST Engineering and Keppel Urban Solutions, both Singapore-based, are working on a 64-hectare development called Saigon Sports City, which is envisaged to be Vietnam's first one-stop sports, entertainment and lifestyle hub.

IoT technologies considered to be implemented will be smart street lighting, smart security management, autonomous vehicles and mobile robots, drone network solutions and smart environment monitoring.

Microsoft is also participating in the project. The company will provide smart urban applications using sensing and IoT technologies to help manage infrastructure and community services.

U.S. promises support

At a summit held yesterday with Southeast Asian countries in Singapore, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence announced a new "U.S.-ASEAN Smart Cities Partnership," pledging America's support for the region's digital and urban infrastructure development.

Asia now makes up half of the world's population, and the share is forecast to rise to 64 percent by 2050. According to a United Nations report, two-thirds of the world's population will live in urban areas by 2050, with Asia being the fastest-growing continent along with Africa. Establishing efficient cities to accommodate the rising population is therefore a critical task for local governments in the region.

With the renewed investment by Trump administration in ASEAN, American companies may have the opportunity to launch products and services relating to payment mechanisms and smart transit systems.

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