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Case study: Smart city technology in Singapore

In 2014, the government of Singapore launched its Smart Nation vision in which the authorities of the Asian nation stipulated the implementation of a number of smart city initiatives as a response to growing urban challenges including urban density and energy sustainability.

The most developed smart services in Singapore are within the transportation and urban mobility sector. Local authorities have been working on the implementation of an intelligent transport system over the last decade.

Singapore has implemented a system designed to enhance traffic flow and keep road traffic running safety. Some of the key initiatives in the transportation sector include One Monitoring, a comprehensive portal serving all drivers and vehicle owners in the country. Through the portal, citizens can access traffic information collected from surveillance cameras installed on roads and taxi vehicles using GPS. The system also provides information on sections where road work is in progress, traffic images of major highways, traffic news, travel time calculator, road maps, street directions and parking information.

The Land Transport Authority also implemented a monitoring service that uses surveillance cameras to check for road incidents. When an incident is detected through the system, LTA activates the vehicle recovery service to tow the vehicle to the nearest designated car park outside the highway.

Another smart city initiative implemented by the authorities is the Parking Guidance System. This smart service, initially implemented in 2008, provides drivers with real-time information on parking availability. The system is designed to reduce the amount of circulating traffic searching for available spaces and seeks a more efficient use of existing parking facilities. Information is displayed on electronic signs, online at the One Motoring Portal or on mobile applications such as MyTransport.SG.

The government has also implemented a number of smart city initiatives in the field of safety and citizen security. The Singapore Police Force provides a web-based electronic police center for citizens to gather information, file police reports online, and handle administrative affairs such as applying for certified copy of police reports and criminal records.

Additionally, a key initiative in the environmental sector includes a mobile application developed by local utility Singapore Power, which allows citizens to view their bills and payment status, and submit meter readings. The app enables consumers to audit their home usage to manage water consumption.

Also, smart waste bins were introduced in 2015 as a part of smart waste management program. Under the initiative, monitors attached on bin lids collect information on contents and location, with the information transmitted to a garbage team through a central server. The waste collection team can optimize their route planning with the information provided by the sensors.

In the energy sector, Singapore’s Intelligent Energy System attempts to improve network operations and facilitate active participation among consumers. Smart meters equipped with communication capabilities provide consumers and the grid operator with information on how much electricity is being used.

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