Alibaba set to beat KL traffic jams with AI system

Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor (second right) and MDEC chairman Tan Sri Sidek Hassan witnessing the exchange of MoU between MDEC and DBKL, January 29, 2018. — Bernama pic
Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor (second right) and MDEC chairman Tan Sri Sidek Hassan witnessing the exchange of MoU between MDEC and DBKL, January 29, 2018. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 29 — Alibaba will introduce an artificial intelligence system in Kuala Lumpur to combat traffic congestion, minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor said today.

Speaking at the launch of the City Brain system pilot project by Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of the e-commerce giant, the Federal Territories Minister said managing the capital’s road and transport infrastructure was critical to creating a liveable city.

The City Brain project is in collaboration with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and is set to wrap up in May this year.

“KL is an area of 243 sq km which includes 9 tolled highway and 169 federal roads along with 51 main shopping malls. Its population of 1.8 million spends 250 million hours being stuck in traffic.

“Adding to that is 26.7 million tourists visiting Malaysia in 2016, and in 2015, we already had 4.8 million cars on our roads in KL. Traffic congestion is unavoidable due to illegal parking, roadworks and accidents,” he said.

Tengku Adnan said traffic congestion increased mental stress and economic losses due to time wasted on the road.

He added that technology in the form of cloud computing and big data would provide innovative solutions in solving these problems.

“Malaysia will be the first country outside China to use such a platform. We are creating an intelligent, data-driven city platform using digital technology to address this urban challenge.”

The technology has been adapted from the Hangzhou City Brain and uses Alibaba Cloud’s AI programme, as well as big data analytic capabilities to produce real-time traffic predictions using video and image recognition technologies.

The Hangzhou City Brain has already increased traffic flow and its automatic traffic system capabilities, centred on the intelligent adjustment of traffic lights.

Present at the ceremony was MDEC chief executive officer Datuk Yasmin Mahmood and its chairman Tan Sri Sidek hassan, and Kuala Lumpur mayor Tan Sri Amin Nordin Aziz.

DBKL project management executive director Datuk Mahadi Che Ngah said that the city’s 11.9km bicycle lane is set to be launched on February 1.

He added that dividers fixed with reflective tape would be installed along the route to ensure safety for cyclists.

“The blue lane is for bicycles, every other person on the road should acknowledge and respect this fact,” said Mahadi.

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