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Not Just Any Brain But City Brain To Solve KL Traffic Woes

The Malaysian government has announced a bold step into the future by its collaboration with Alibaba Cloud today to adopt the Artificial Intelligence known as Malaysia City Brain that will help to curb the increasing traffic congestion faced by KL-ites.

The announcement by Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur was also witnessed by the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) CEO, Dato’ Yasmin Mahmood. “The collaboration with Alibaba Group is another leap towards digitizing Malaysia where knowledge-sharing and the crossover of best practices transpire. As we set our sights on the future, we are excited about the prospects this partnership will bring to our community, and benefiting Malaysians with the tangible results of digital solutions,” she said.

The Malaysia City Brain is the first adoption of the AI platform overseas. The original installation is in China. It is developed on Alibaba Cloud’s robust cloud computing infrastructure and will support Malaysia’s digital transformation with cloud technology and artificial intelligence.

With Alibaba Cloud’s large-scale computing engine Apsara, Malaysia City Brain offers a comprehensive suite of acquisition, integration, and analysis of big and heterogeneous data generated by a diversity of sources in urban spaces through video and image recognition, data mining and machine learning technology. The power and functionality of the City Brain will enable Malaysian urban planners and city officials to upgrade their city governance and decision-making to turn the city into an intelligent one.

In the first phase of the program, which will feature the Kuala Lumpur city center, will roll out the Malaysia City Brain for use in traffic management to improve mobility in the city. With its massive cloud computing and data processing capabilities, the City Brain can optimise the flow of vehicles and traffic signals by calculating the time to reach intersections. It will also be able to generate structured summaries of data, such as traffic volume and speed in particular lanes, which can be used to facilitate other tasks including incident detection.

In addition, City Brain can connect with various urban management systems including emergency dispatch, ambulance call, traffic command, and traffic light control. By integrating and analysing real-time data generated from these systems, City Brian can optimize urban traffic flow such as by  identifying the quickest route for  emergency vehicles to arrive at the scene within the shortest time frame.

A demonstration of how City Brain which is being used in China to reduce congestion, showed how effective it is in real-time as compared to when it is being randomly controlled by city officials. Exact locations and types of emergencies can be handled within minutes of being located.

As the City Brain’s functionality expands, enterprises, start-ups, entrepreneurs, universities, and research institutions will in the future also have the opportunity to access and leverage its artificial intelligence tools to drive a wide range of innovation.

Simon Hu, Senior Vice President of Alibaba Group and President of Alibaba Cloud, said Cloud computing, data technology and AI has become fundamental tools for all companies and organizations to operate effectively.

“Building on this partnership, we are happy to see Malaysia become the first country outside of China to adopt the City Brain. Through the program, we aim to empower all Malaysian stakeholders in both the public and private sectors with the tools to enhance efficiency, advance innovation and succeed in the digital age.  For Alibaba Cloud, this is the true meaning of inclusive technology.”

Alibaba Cloud also announced the Malaysia Tianchi Big Data Program which is a big data crowd intelligence platform that brings together global data experts to collaborate and compete in developing solutions for real world problems. The program looks to encourage individuals and students to break the norms of solving problems together with the assistance of Alibaba Cloud data scientists and professionals.

The initiative aims to incubate 500 data professionals and 300 startups in Malaysia within two years by facilitating the use of world class data intelligence technology through Alibaba Cloud’s cloud computing infrastructure and artificial intelligence capabilities.