Different ways to think about ‘Smart’ Transportation


Ong Kian Ming

RECENT announcements heralding Alibaba’s move to roll out its City Brain Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven smart city solution in Kuala Lumpur (the first city outside China to implement this system) had me initially excited, for two reasons.


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  • "No matter how ‘smart’ a system is, it cannot solve traffic problems caused by human driving patterns and infrastructure bottlenecks."

    Very good point Y.B. Dr. Ong! To put it simply, the devil is in the implementation and remediation (or more precisely, the lack thereof) on the ground in realspace, not in cyberspace, and and I wish you had focused more on addressing realspace issues, rather than providing information, data and analytics about them to the public and the authorities but otherwise do nothing on the ground about them.

    Long before Jack Ma proposed his gee whiz City Brain Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven smart city solution in Kuala Lumpur, Integrated Transport Information System (ITIS) began operating since 2005, with signboard over roads telling us what we already knew - i.e. we were stuck in a horrendous traffic jam and for how far we would have to endure it, and more recently, users can also check traffic current conditions on certain roads on their Apple iPhones, iPads or Android devices so as to plan our travel route and time to avoid or at best minimise being caught in a jam.

    All fine and dandy, except that this was the case day after day, year after year, apparently with nothing or very little being done to resolve the causes of the jams, many of which are due to entry and exit ramps from and to other highways being added to older ones such as the Federal Highway,such as those to and from the Pencala Link and those to and from the LDP,all of which result in creating traffic bottlenecks during peak traffic periods, not to mention horrendous traffic jams in Bandar Sunway, Subang Jaya and other places within the Klang Valley.

    So if the realspace causes of these traffic jams were not resolved long after ITIS went into operation, how will Jack Ma's gee whiz City Brain Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven smart city solution solve the problem in realspace?

    Let me leave you with my open letter to your party comrade, Y.B. Lim Lip Eng, Member of Parliament for Segambut way back on 21 August 2017.

    "WE NEED REALSPACE, NOT CYBER-SOLUTIONS TO TRAFFIC CONGESTION"
    http://itsheiss.blogspot.my/2017/08/we-need-realspace-not-cyber-solutions.html

    And my more recent post where towards the end, I also referred to this gee whiz traffic solution proposed by Jack Ma.

    "Digital Free Trade Zone !!!! - Hmmmm! And what about Dagang Net"
    http://itsheiss.blogspot.my/2018/02/digital-free-trade-zone-hmmmm-and-what.html

    Posted 4 years ago by IT Scheiss