A city of the future based on the latest innovations and applications
By AFIQ AZIZ / Pic By AFIF ABD HALIM
The images of autonomous robots, flying cars, jetpacks, artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality are elements that fit the silver screen of futuristic movies.
But they are not all just concepts. In the near future, we will be able to purchase cars that drive you to your destination without having to drive.
Smart homes will function to your every desire. Industries operated by cyborgs with AI working on the assembly line and operating with 100% precision. Utility and basic needs delivered to the people without interruptions. A futuristic everyday life in a smart city.
Cities which are built on technology, innovations and applications. And these concepts are not far away from us.
Selangor, the most developed state in the country is already paving the way for the development of future cities.
The state has embarked on pilot projects to establish itself as a premier smart state in the region.
The Smart Selangor initiative started in late 2015. The big idea is to leverage on the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to improve the quality of life for all its citizens.
The master plan is to promote social inclusion which focuses on stronger links between the government and the citizens involved; and engage citizens, address urban and rural needs by using technology as a key enabler.
With the vision of being ranked in the top 20 smart cities in the world in the next few years, the Selangor state government has listed 12 domains under the project’s master blueprint.
Forming the core domains of this modern technology initiatives are smart waste management, smart transport and mobility, smart governance and smart digital infrastructure.
To catalyse the core domains, four projects were initiated last year such as the iClean Selangor waste management app, Waze Connected Citizens Programme (CCP) and the Klang River enhancement programme.
Moreover, the state is already providing Internet connection from 3,200 WiFi access points, allowing its citizens to access future technology and services.
Building a Smart Future
Smart Selangor Delivery Unit (SSDU) head of programme management Mohamad Suhaimi Mohamad Tahir (picture) said the unit was mandated by the state government to manage the programme, create awareness, facilitate cooperation between related stakeholders and encourage partnership — including the sharing of knowledge via local and international ventures.
He said the aim is to make Selangor a regional smart state by 2025.
Mohamad Suhaimi said, for example, seven local councils are involved under the Waze CCP with the pilot project initiated last year.
The programme — which integrates GPS (global positioning system) navigation technology — allows the related authorities to improve road maintenance works, especially in tackling recurrent pothole issues in Selangor.
Mohamad Suhaimi said the system allows the people to report decaying road conditions to the related authorities through an application, and they can keep track of the actions or the progress of repair works.
“PBTs (local authorities) have adapted to the system and it has certainly improved their performance,” said Mohamad Suhaimi, who added that there were reservations prior to its implementation.
He said such smart application had resulted in the PBTs reaching 90% of their service level agreement, especially on rectifying reported road hazards within five days.
Five remaining PBTs will use the same system by year-end.
“We are also discussing with the Public Works Department to find ways to integrate our system, as 50% of roads in Selangor belong to them,” he said.
Mohamad Suhaimi said the Waze CCP has also been enhanced to minimise human interventions. Previously, complaints were manually analysed before being manually despatched to the respective PBT.
“We have upgraded the programme by using a middleware, Intelligent Response System, this year, to expedite and improve the work process,” he said.
Improving Every Aspect for Residents
A survey conducted for the Smart Selangor project — involving stakeholders such as citizens, 12 PBTs and data from Merdeka Centre — showed concerns on the state’s waste management.
Such concerns have been voiced for decades and many of the issues remain unresolved in many areas. The state government had to find a solution to this fundamental problem.
To this end, KDEB Waste Management Sdn Bhd, a company under the state government, was appointed to be the project management company.
It is responsible for the purchase of all waste management assets which will be leased to the appointed contractors.
To ensure the collection of garbage is efficient and contractors perform their duties responsibly, the compactors and lorries are tracked by GPS.
“This model was introduced to ensure contractors are not burdened on the cost of purchasing and managing their assets, as their contract with local PBTs is only for about three years,” he said.
Using a comprehensive smart waste management system, residents in Selangor can also lodge complaints or report uncollected waste for immediate resolution with the iClean application.
Mohamad Suhaimi said the efficiency of waste collection and management is a difficult problem as some of the contractors are not performing their duties as required.
The state established the Command and Control Centre (CCC) this year, the centralised data collection and control room that monitors the contractors’ performance.
This year, the Selangor Integrated Transport System (SITS) was established. It has 100 electrical Smart Selangor buses and are deployed to cater 34 routes in Selangor.
The free of charge bus services also offer free WiFi and have benefitted more than 10 million passengers this year.
The state had also introduced the Community Opinion Online this year that allows greater engagement with the local state representatives. The pilot project involved assemblymen from Seri Setia, Kajang and Sungai Pinang.
Mohamad Suhaimi, who was part of the management team at MSC Technology Centre Sdn Bhd, said: “Smart Selangor is a citizen-centric programme.
“We have to engage the people, PBTs and industry players to know that their needs are in line with the mentri besar’s aspirations.
“It is unlike Cyberjaya, which is more of a ‘top down’ concept with huge government money invested.”
He said SSDU was only given RM10 million to pilot four first projects in 2016 and another RM22 million the following year.
Unlike Cyberjaya, which has turned into a haven for property players, Smart Selangor is about leveraging on the existing technology and resources, and deliver these technologies into the everyday lives of normal people in Selangor, to improve their quality of life.
“We add value to the resources we have, by connecting stakeholders to work in a smart way using the available technologies,” he said.
In the future, Selangor will be connected by apps, services demanded by application and life, and necessities served by technologies and innovations.