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Build Cooperative Ecosystems with Clear Boundaries

By Yu Dong, President, Industry Marketing and Solutions Department, Enterprise Business Group, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.

When discussing hazardous chemical supervision, the topic of video surveillance systems like Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) will often be raised. Traditional supervision systems that use closed IT architectures are not capable sharing data between enterprises and government departments. The sharing restriction raises the information barrier to the point that cross-department communication within an organization is a costly challenge. Public participation is rare because releasing supervisory information is almost impossible.

Information about hazardous chemicals is squirreled away in closed systems, concealing critical information such as project approval, site selection, production, storage, and transportation details. Consequently, first responders and onsite personnel are forced to make time-sensitive decisions based on incomplete or inaccurate information — and a single misjudgment can have catastrophic consequences. Local residents may have no idea they are living next to a ‘time bomb’ until it explodes.

With this in mind, Huawei has designed a Smart City platform that can intelligently control hazardous chemical production, storage, loading, unloading, transportation, and delivery activities.

Hazardous Chemical Management in Smart Gaoqing

Technology once again transforms what was once impossible into a reality. Gaoqing County in the Shandong Province has a cloud platform that monitors the county-wide production, transportation, and handling process for hazardous chemicals.

In the Smart Gaoqing project, the cloud platform coordinates Big Data, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), video, command and dispatch, and computing resources. Using new Information and Communication Technology (ICT), the Gaoqing government can better calculate accident probabilities, detect risks, and issue warnings, thereby improving the effective quality of hazardous chemical management.

The Big Data platform breaks down inter-departmental barriers, which makes project approvals easier and more efficient. The 3D GIS and video surveillance systems dynamically monitor inherently hazardous chemical production operations, and the private eLTE wireless network allows visual dispatching and command.

The solution uses algorithms and Big Data resources to analyze people, vehicles, and objects — and the five systems bring qualitative changes to hazardous chemical management. Through continuous research and practice, Huawei has given ‘Smart Gaoqing’ a new connotation.

The Huawei Smart City solution supports more than just hazardous chemical management in Gaoqing. With Huawei’s latest intelligent technologies, the local government has built a brand-new digital platform that houses the administrative data for 54 departments, and smart applications for 20 ecosystem partners. Information silos and barriers to sharing have been eliminated; and service data across departments can now be closely integrated.

The Huawei Smart City Platform is a digital technology solution. With the assistance of ecosystem partners, the platform coordinates five types of resources: cloud computing, Big Data, video, command and dispatch, and GIS — to help Gaoqing mine and fully leverage the value of service data. Hundreds of smart applications are flourishing on this ‘fertile land,’ where they converge to form the digital pulse of Smart Gaoqing.

In complex urban scenarios, Huawei’s Smart City Platform serves more than a dozen fields, including government administration, policing, city management, healthcare, and agriculture. The platform has significantly improved Gaoqing’s administrative efficiency.

Digital Platforms Support Smart City Digitization

Huawei has participated in building more than 120 Smart Cities around the world.

Experience shows that successful Smart City projects share a common point: They link all smart applications in one smart platform. These applications cover education, healthcare, security supervision, and city management. There are hundreds of these applications, and the number is quickly growing.

Huawei specializes in ICT infrastructure construction within Smart City projects, and many application and terminal partners participate in the development of joint solutions.

All participants agree to build digital platforms that link systems and modules, which is why Huawei built its Smart City Platform.

The Von Neumann architecture used in computing is a useful reference point to understand how this platform horizontally integrates applications.

In Dr. Von Neumann’s model, the core architecture of computers consists of the input/output unit, the Central Processing Unit (CPU), and memory. Openness is the greatest advantage of this architecture, where the modules are decoupled from each other, but can be integrated together when needed. This enables global collaboration and labor division. And thanks to Dr. Von Neumann’s efforts, the computer industry — following Moore’s Law — continues to grow exponentially each year. And though many years have passed since its origination, the Von Neumann architecture remains the standard for the computer industry.

Huawei has been enlightened by this classic architecture, and offers two types of key abilities for industry transformation:

First, in critical service scenarios, Huawei uses the Enterprise Operating System (EOS) to help customers quickly gain business benefits and complete their digital transformation.

Second, Huawei gives full play to the advantages of the platform, provides differentiated value models for ecosystem partners, and enables growth. This is similar to the relationship between mobile phones and the App store — mobile phones are pure hardware (like ICT infrastructure), Huawei’s digital platform is like the phone’s operating system, and the apps in the app store are like partner applications.

The Huawei Smart City Platform is built on a backbone of ICT infrastructure; including adaptation to key Smart City scenarios; support for various terminals and applications; and the ability to coordinate Big Data, the Internet of Things (IoT), video, GIS, and converged communication resources.

Huawei works with partners to build industry solutions, and our platform has been used in a number of success cases around the globe. In complex city scenarios, the platform provides powerful functions — such as smart government, smart policing, smart city management, smart healthcare, and smart agriculture — that support Smart City digitalization.

Smart Cities are an important enabler for Digital China and a key catalyst for future breakthroughs. Smart City platforms can effectively converge data and theoretically connect everything.

Like a living organism, a Smart City is not just a simple superposition of functions — it is not an overnight task, but an ongoing project.

In a Smart City, systems such as transportation, education, healthcare, energy, environmental protection, government management, and public security are well connected and constantly support each other. Smart Cities are built to evolve and eventual upgrade. Smart City developments are not just a single project or series of projects, but systematic undertakings with an iterative schedule for evolution.

When building a Smart City, one must ask: If a Smart City has only a brain and nothing else, will this city still be smart?

Human intelligence is based on a nervous system that collects and processes information, and then gives feedback — and similarly, a Smart City also needs a ‘nervous system.’

Data collection, analysis, and usage are impossible without the ‘nervous system’ and intelligent operations are nothing but an empty promise. Smart City needs such a ‘nervous system’ to link service systems and coordinate resources. The human nervous system facilitates reflexes, just as the Smart City nervous system must enables automatic judgment and linkages between systems.

A strong ‘nervous system’ consists of a healthy ‘brain’ and a well-connected network. The network transmits data from peripheral units to the brain, and once the brain makes a decision, the network sends the data to the muscular tissue and prompts action.

Living organisms and Smart Cities use a similar mechanism consisting of two parts. The peripheral component connects the city communications network with the IoT to enable automatic, all-scenario, city-wide data collection and transmission; and the central component connects Big Data and Intelligent Operation Centers (IOC) to display city operations, conduct linked emergency responses, and provide decision support.

With continuous efforts, Huawei has originated a number of best practices. In Longgang, Shenzhen, Huawei built an urban IoT platform, wired and wireless networks, and cloud data and city operation centers. These practices now connect more than 50 government departments and have streamlined more than 210 service systems into a single, unified platform.

Huawei has deployed 11 service applications on these infrastructures such as smart government, smart healthcare, and smart transportation — that have served to eliminate legacy information silos.

Huawei adheres to the objective of ‘benefiting people through smart administration,’ which proved successful in improving public safety and resident happiness following the deployment of Longgang’s Smart City.

Huawei is committed to building an intelligent and connected world. We will work with partners to build holistic Smart City solutions, and help cities around the world develop the necessary nervous systems.

With comprehensive Smart City ecosystems in place, Huawei will continue to meet increasingly complex requirements, and we hope these unremitting efforts will help more cities in China become smarter.

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Issue 23 - Smart City Extra

Issue 23

Smart City Extra

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