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Update on Singapore’s journey towards a smart nation

Just over two years ago Singapore announced its proposals for a program which was entitled Smart Nation.

The ambitious project was designed in order to fasten the city, residents and government into a new digital age of innovation and industry. Singapore is making the bold transition from a successful city to Smart Nation. It already has a fiber network infrastructure that stretches the length and breadth of the island.

One of its plans is to introduce robots specifically designed to better the lives of elderly people. The initiative would teach elderly citizens how to use computers from basic to advanced levels. Another initiative aimed at improving the lives of its elderly citizens is the testing carried out on EMS (Elderly Monitoring System) – the Smart Nation wants to reduce the burden of looking after elderly people by devising this program. EMS is a non-invasive program that uses sensors on doors and inside rooms to monitor movement.

The city state has also been at the forefront of autonomous vehicle testing.  A number of streets have been opened specifically to allow testing of self-driving cars and buses. There have been a number of small-scale trials on shuttles which have been carried out at Nanyang Technological University over the last couple of years.

More recently, MIT spin-off nuTonomy started testing autonomous taxis on the city’s streets, but while these innovative and exciting efforts continue – they are now making efforts beyond self-driving vehicles and have significantly reduced the issue of crowdedness on buses and waiting times on these services by introducing sensors.

Sensors are at the heart of Smart Nation and for among other things the government used them in order to track its bus convoy – their ability to crunch data has resulted in them being able to identify problems and formulate solutions to work around issues. This has resulted in a staggering 90% reduction on the issue of overcrowding and has reduced waiting times on services to between three to five minutes.

Paul Budde