(Yicai Global) May 16 -- Hangzhou is looking to roll out its smart traffic system citywide in a bid to reduce congestion in the buildup to the 2022 Asian Games, which will be hosted in the eastern metropolis.
The city has been using the City Brain platform designed by local e-commerce titan Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. in Xiaoshan district since 2016, and has already knocked three minutes off drivers' commutes and cut emergency response times by seven minutes, state-backed news site The Paper reported. It plans to implement the system across the city before the end of this year.
Next steps will be to improve the control platform and create a safe system to offer data support and services for the Asian Games, said Zheng Rongxin, director of the Hangzhou Bureau of Data Resources. Plans include encompassing security systems, healthcare, tourism, the environment, and credit in order to help the event run smoothly.
Nearly 600 Chinese cities are looking to become smart cities as they seek to interact with and regulate their citizens using big data, the Internet of Things and AI. The market value of the smart cities is expected to exceed CNY18.7 trillion (USD2.9 trillion) by 2021, according to the Qianzhan Industry Research Institute.
Hangzhou's City Brain combines government, corporate, public and online data to garner information for macroscopic decision-making, public resource allocation and warnings for safety hazards, The Paper's report added. It is already active in a number of other Chinese cities looking to fight congestion, including Suzhou and Quzhou in the east and Macao Special Administrative Region on the southern coast.
The platform will become an important part of the infrastructure and drive the city toward sustainable development using the internet and data, Wang Jian, chairman of Alibaba's technology steering committee and one of the project developers, said late last year. City Brain reported more than 500 traffic incidents a day in 2017 and was accurate 92 percent of the time.
Editors: Emmi Laine, James Boynton