Street lamps in one-north business park in Buona Vista and Geylang will be amongst the first to be upgraded next year with sensors and cameras that can collect a wide range of data. The upgrades include weather sensors, speed checks on Personal Mobility Devices, directing of driverless cars, and facial recognition analytics. This collation of data and information can better allow authorities to better identify and respond in times of emergencies and crime.
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The Straits Times article
Plans have kicked in to fit lamp posts with sensors and cameras that can collect a wide range of data, which can be used to direct driverless cars, catch speeding e-scooters and even analyse faces, down to race, gender and age.
With the information, government agencies can increase their situational awareness, detect potential problems and respond quickly to incidents, such as unruly crowds, train breakdowns or traffic congestion.
Details of these plans were released last week at a private meeting between GovTech, the agency behind this project, and interested contractors.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had briefly mentioned the plans in his National Day Rally speech last August.
According to tender documents, street lamps in one-north business park in Buona Vista and Geylang will be the first to be "smartened up" with state-of-the-art fittings.
They include temperature and rainfall sensors, surveillance cameras and artificial intelligence-based video analytic systems, which allow for facial matching against a database.
Real-time kinematic technology equipment will also be mounted to provide line-of-sight connection to self-driving vehicles to determine their precise locations for navigation and to avoid collisions.
This network of interconnected smart lamp posts, with the data transmitted either wirelessly or via fibre broadband, is collectively known as the Smart Nation Sensor Platform.
GovTech told The Sunday Times that the trial is scheduled to start early next year after the equipment is installed. The project may eventually involve more than 100,000 lamp posts nationwide.
"The trial aims to assess how we can make use of existing public infrastructure such as lamp posts to fit, connect and power various kinds of sensors that can help us improve the living environment," a GovTech spokesman said.
"GovTech will draw lessons and insights from the trial before deciding on plans to scale up implementation."
Singapore has a network of security cameras, but this plan takes it up several notches because of the use of more sophisticated technologies that can merge data sets and draw detailed analyses.
By looking at crowd distribution heat maps and the crowd behaviour and mix, the authorities will be better able to manage crowds.
The sensors can also detect, classify and record objects such as backpacks, personal mobility devices (PMDs), bicycles, and car models and licence plate numbers.
For instance, if a PMD or bicycle is travelling at more than 15kmh on footpaths, which is illegal, the data will be captured and an alert sent to the relevant agency.
While Singaporeans and experts whom The Sunday Times spoke to generally welcomed the plan, some raised concerns about privacy issues.
Sales manager Faith Heng, 39, said: "While people may appreciate the presence of such technologies during emergencies and when a crime has taken place, they will also worry about the intrusiveness of such surveillance."
Source: “Smart street lamps with high tech sensors set for trial”, The Straits Times, 8 April 2018
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