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Recently, while pondering the potential role of distributed waste processing and distributed power generation in the context of smart cities, my thoughts reached back to when, during my tenure at a large automation supplier, we had to come to terms with losing a major I&C project for the massive Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Plant in Boston Harbor to a competitor.  What made this loss even harder to swallow, was the fact that the plant was located less than 50 miles from our global headquarters, which housed the company’s main manufacturing, project engineering, and customer support organizations.  What also hurt, was that we had a good track record of implementing successful I&C projects for other large-scale regional water and wastewater treatment plants around the country.

These mega projects typically involved both significant engineering challenges and risk but, nevertheless, were often given higher internal priority than the many smaller-scale, municipal-level water and wastewater treatment projects that came down the pike.  This was largely because the smaller projects tended not to be very profitable (if at all) due the excessively cost-conscious nature of these municipalities.

Distributed waste processing and renewable energy generation for the smart city of the future

Something that I recently read in e-newsletter item by Boston Globe business reporter, Jon Chesto, got me thinking that large regional treatment plants like the one on Deer Island, which processes sewage for more than 40 cities and towns in eastern Massachusetts, might not be the best solution for the smart cities of the future.  For one thing, while the Deer Island plant certainly has done wonders to help the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MRWA) clean up the previously heavily polluted Boston Harbor and Charles River Basin (made famous by the Standell’s 1966 hit song, Dirty Water), according to the Bob Zimmerman, executive director of the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA), Deer Island is “dewatering” eastern Massachusetts.

“It’s only waste water if you waste it.”

As an alternative to “hulking” sewage treatment plants, CRWA has proposed smaller, neighborhood treatment centers that would convert waste water and discarded food into energy, which would then be used to power the plant (waste treatment plants are highly energy-intensive).  To help defray the project and operational costs, any excess electric energy would be sold to the grid and thermal energy sold to nearby industrial facilities. According to Jon Chesto’s e-newsletter item, “The nonprofit group’s primary aim in developing the concept was to limit the vast amounts of rainwater and ground water that get sucked into sewer pipes to be washed out to sea via Deer Island, a phenomenon that is harming the Charles River by decreasing its water volume.”  In addition to helping protect area rivers, this approach could also bring more renewable energy into the area and restore now-buried waterways.

According to Mr. Zimmerman, this wouldn’t require any new technology; but would require moving from a centralized to a de-centralized sewer system and pairing it with waste processing and waste-to-energy technologies.  Both the liquid sewer wastes and solid food wastes (collected from area restaurants and institutions) would first be pretreated and then processed in anaerobic digesters to break down the organic material and convert it to methane gas to generate electricity.  The diagram also suggests that heat pumps could be used to capture thermal energy which could then be sold to nearby industrial facilities for heating and cooling purposes. 

This appears to represent the kind of “out-of-the-box” thinking that is key for the successful transition from today’s relatively inefficient, energy-gobbling, environmentally harmful municipal models to the smart, sustainable cities and communities of tomorrow.  According to Mr. Zimmerman, “It’s only waste water if you waste it.”

To its credit, while the MWRA’s Deer Island Wastewater Plant (which treats an average of 365 million gallons of wastewater per day), is one of the largest electricity users in the Northeast US, it does generate approximately one-quarter of its electricity needs in its 12 anaerobic digesters and more than half of the island’s total energy demand via on-site, renewable generation. However, unlike the proposed community facilities, Deer Island is too remote to share thermal energy.

A more economically and environmentally sustainable approach

The CRWA’s proposed approach addresses the multiple needs to increase the percentage of renewables in the energy mix, help restore natural environments, and “harden” communities against climate changed-induced weather patterns.  It also at least recognizes the reality that the needed capital to finance many water and wastewater upgrade projects in the US and elsewhere is in very tight supply.  Unlike a large-scale wastewater treatment facility or renewable energy project, this approach could be implemented in smaller, more manageable (and thus easier to finance) increments, one plant at a time, while helping pay for itself.  The latter point could make it more attractive for public-private partnerships.   It also addresses several challenges relative to liquid and solid waste treatment, renewable energy generation, and wetlands restoration.

CRWA hired New Jersey-based engineering firm, Natural Systems Utilities (NSU), to draw up conceptual plans and analyze the revenue potential for two possible plants in Boston.  NSU determined that one of these plants would cost $47 million to build, with $7.4 million in projected annual revenue, which would more than offset the projected $5 million/year O&M costs (and – presumably - eventually pay for itself).  NSU created a webcaston this concept for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Finally, I can’t help but think that these smaller, combined waste treatment/waste-to-energy plants would make excellent candidates for the highly distributed, open automation approach now being championed by the automation end users and suppliers in the Open Process Automation Forum (a forum of The Open Group), as well as more traditional PLC/HMI, and “DCS-lite” automation solutions.   

distributed waste processingSmall, combined waste treatment/waste-to-energy plants could make sense within the context of the smart cities and municipalities of the future.

 

Reprinted with permission, original blog was posted here”. You may also visit here for more such insights on the digital transformation of industries.

 About ARC Advisory Group (www.arcweb.com): Founded in 1986, ARC Advisory Group is a Boston based leading technology research and advisory firm for industry and infrastructure.

 For further information or to provide feedback on this article, please contact akanagali@arcweb.com

 

About the Author:

 

Paul Miller

Editorial and Content Director

Paul has been a 'student of the industry' for thirty years, closely following the evolution from yesterday's proprietary, purpose-built control systems to today's more open automation systems, based largely on commercial technologies.

 

About ARC Advisory Group (www.arcweb.com)-  Founded in 1986, ARC Advisory Group is a Boston based leading technology research and advisory firm for industry and infrastructure.

Urbanization and road travel has given rise to a large volume of traffic on highways and roadways. It is set to grow at a greater rate than the cities and roads can accommodate resulted in traffic congestion and increasing the burden on city infrastructure. Cities need more effective tools to improve traffic flow and minimize disruptions caused by incidents and special events. One such technology that can help in addressing these issues is adaptive traffic control systems, which manages unpredictable traffic patterns. 

 

Components of Adaptive Traffic Control Systems

The architecture of adaptive traffic control systems includes detection technologies, support multiple controller hardware platforms, and provide intersection error monitoring, and tools and reports. The system optimizes cycle length, splits, and offsets on a cycle-by-cycle basis and using real-time detection. Although legacy traffic control systems use digital hardware but remain constrained by an analog algorithm such as common cycle lengths, set sequences, fixed offsets and standardized allotment of green time, or splits. Legacy technologies are based on the binary principles that o not adapt to real-time changes in traffic demand caused by geometric constraints and rush hour fluctuations.

Adaptive Traffic Control Systems

 

With the development of digitization, automation, and IT systems, traffic control systems, connected vehicles, and autonomous entities communicate with other vehicles and traffic infrastructure. The real-time adaptive technologies respond to traffic demand every second and enable mid-cycle or even mid-sequence decisions based on traffic’s changing patterns. Pre-determined signaling systems estimate traffic based on small sampling size and generalize the results across historical traffic data. Adaptive traffic control systems constantly monitor and analyze the real-time traffic data to produce optimized results.

 

Adaptive traffic control systems can integrate hardware components, controllers, detection devices, cabinets, the camera for surveillance into the existing architecture. While in-built algorithms respond to continuous data collection, and software enables data reporting capabilities, which provides visibility into signal performance.

Advantages of Adaptive Traffic Control Systems

According to Siemens, adaptive signal times have been proven to reduce congestion in complicated networks, reduce stops and delays 20%, travel time 31%, carbon monoxide emissions 4% and fuel usage by 6%.

 

In addition, adaptive traffic control systems offer real-time alarm monitoring capability, a detection alarm monitoring function specifies exact lane with the issue and indicates whether the issue is a static or sporadic signal. Better adaptability function allows ADCS to better control of unpredictable traffic patterns. Traffic can be dynamic at different times of the day, so ADCS accommodates multiple variations without manual intervention. Adaptive traffic control systems provide real-time information for both advanced operations and maintenance monitoring. It includes detection, timing, saturation, status, communication, and coordination information across connected vehicles, and autonomous entities.

 

The evolution will aid municipalities, cities, law enforcement, carriers, and shippers to access real-time information about any location on their mobile devices. This will ensure municipalities to take predictive actions on traffic and parking conditions, prioritize issues, utilize resources more effectively. This will not only monitor congestion and emissions but also control costs and generate analysis for long-term planning of transportation and travel in a city. Cities with adaptive traffic control systems make themselves more desirable as a location for factories, warehouses, and cross-docks.

 

“Reprinted with permission, original blog was posted here”. You may also visit here for more such insights on the digital transformation of industry.

 About ARC Advisory Group (www.arcweb.com): Founded in 1986, ARC Advisory Group is a Boston based leading technology research and advisory firm for industry and infrastructure.

For further information or to provide feedback on this article, please contact lkanickaraj@arcweb.com

ITI Marketing Plan &

 

Opportunities in Smart

 

Infrastructure

 

 

 

 

 

 

Presented By

 

Shri. Sanjay Jain,

 

Deputy General Manager

 

ITI Limited

Welcome to the Virtual Roundtable. This series will bring together subject matter experts from different verticals to talk about an advanced technology. The series will focus on use cases, applications and case studies in emerging technologies. The experts on this panel are in conversation with Om Routray, Lead, NASSCOM Community.

 

Bipin Pradeep Kumar is the co-founder and Director at Gaia Smart Cities. Gaia is a start-up in the IoT space bringing together internet of things, digital automation and smart cities. Bipin is the Chair of the Smart City Group for the TEC, DOT, Ministry of Communication and IT and is a core member of the National Working Group on International Telecommunication Union (ITU)'s SG on Smart Sustainable Communities.

 

Deepti Dutt is the Director of Smartcities at Microsoft. She has experience at a strategic position and specializes in managing e-government, public service delivery, process transformation and program management projects. She has track record of conceptualizing, developing and managing large scale complex programs such as Aadhaar authentication and a greenfield smarter city solution.

 

Manish Prasad Sinha is Principal Consultant, Smart Cities at Tech Mahindra. He implemented a pilot - Smart City Solutions and Command Center for Mahindra World City, Jaipur. He has a distinction of handling large and complex projects globally, mainly in the roles of Project Management and as a Business Consultant, largely into Communications Industry.

 

 

Dhananjay Sharrma is the Chief Operating Officer at SenRa. SenRa is a focused PAN India LoRaWAN operator and one of the key contributing member of LoRa Alliance from India. SenRa is offering PAN City LoRaWAN connectivity Solutions on their uniform network layer covering use cases such as Smart Water Meters, Smart Gas Meters, Smart Street Lighting, Smart Parking etc.

 

 

  1. Bipin, I have two specific questions for you. First, what does it take for a city to be declared as a smartcity? Does it have to be advancement of the whole ecosystem or are there any other parameters that are measured? Second, given that you have worked in smartcity projects in Lucknow, Varanasi and Raipur, tell us about the challenges as well as the scope to scale smart solutions.

 

Let me address this in the Indian context. Under the Smart Cities Mission by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (erstwhile MoUD), Cities submit their proposal to be chosen under the Mission. The proposals they create are ranked on the following criteria - at an Overall City-Level (30%), for their Area-Based Development approach (55 %) and their Pan-City Solution or Solutions (15 %). Within these, for City Level, marks are allocated for the City’s Vision and Goals (5), their Strategic plan (10), Citizen Engagement (10), and its Baseline, KPIs, Self-Assessment and Potential for Improvement (5).

 

Within Area Based Development and Pan City Solution, cities can choose from 24 features or areas to work on. These areas are part of the four pillars  - Institutional, Social, Economic and Physical that have been identified for the comprehensive development of cities.  Marks are allocated with different percentages to the Smartness’ of Proposal, Citizen Engagement, Results Orientation, the Process followed and the Implementation framework, including Feasibility and Cost-Effectiveness.

 

90 cities were chosen like this. The last 10 are awaiting announcement and other 8 or 9 cities were included under the Smart City scheme on varying lines. Thereby in total 108/109 cities in India are in various stages of becoming Smart Cities.

 

As a next step and to further aid this whole smartness quotient, MoHUA themselves developed a set of ‘Liveability Standards in Cities’[1] to generate a Liveability Index with 79 indicators to rate cities. These 79 Liveability standards indicators have been grouped into 15 categories from the  24 features contained in the Smart City Proposals (SCPs). It is intended that these 79 indicators will contribute to achievement of UN SDGs (Sustainability Development Goals). To finally compute the Index, different weights are assigned to the 4 pillars of comprehensive development and the City’s Liveability Index obtained. The illustration below/alongside depicts this whole process in a simple manner.

 

 

Figure 1: Liveability Index [Source: MoHUA]

 

I will be brief about your next question because the challenges and scope are different for different cities. Every city is unique in its own way – right from its size, its needs, the objectives or goals the city wants to achieve, and even in its culture and ethos. It is globally recognised that the very conceptualisation of a city itself varies from city to city and country to country, depending on the level of development, its willingness to change and reform, the resources available and the aspirations of the city residents.

 

Consequently the scope and challenges of Agra are very different from those of any other. It is important to realise that it is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach nor can an easily replicable or scalable model be built. If we address the challenges of one city, the same approach cannot be applied to solve the challenges of another city. In each city one has to formulate its own scope, its own vision, plan, include stakeholders and develop a timeframe. Various principles and best practices can be adhered to, but the realisation that customisations are the norm is a fundamental building block.

 

 

2. Tech Mahindra is involved in many global smart city projects, in fact, you recently signed a deal with Los Angeles for an energy initiative. But, Manish, let’s talk about India. What projects are you working on India and why do you think the pace of technology adoption is so slow? It will also be great if you can give one specific example of how Tech Mahindra’s solutions are being used.

 

First of all, Om, thanks a lot for inviting me to the Smart Cities virtual roundtable. So to answer your question about the projects we are working in India and how they are being used , I would like to say that we have been fortunate enough to be part of some of the unique and first of its kind projects in India. To start with, UP Dial 100, which is one of the world’s largest integrated police emergency response management system. We did this our partner, Mahindra Defense, an industry expert in homeland security and defense. Recently, it was recognized by PMO as one of the best innovation (6th best actually) for public administration services. The project covers almost 220 million population of UP which includes 700 Cities and more than 100,000 villages. So you can imagine the scale.

 

We have done the PAN city security and surveillance for the city of Lucknow in UP; also we have implemented police control and command centers in 4 cities of Rajasthan .i.e. Jaipur, Udaipur, Ajmer and Kota.

 

Recently, we won, in western part of the country, one of Smart City opportunity as a lead MSI where we would be managing e2e various ICT interventions such as control and command center, ITMS,ATCS, Smart Poles, Solid Waste Management, City Wi-Fi and so on and so forth.  

 

Now addressing your other part of the question about the pace of the technology adoption, see I think we all agree that though there is a clear intent and impetus from government towards digital India or augmenting the ICT transformations in cities to improve the quality of life of citizens, we so have several challenges as well in hand. There is still a digital divide in our country, broadband penetration or mobile internet users are still low. In 2015, mobile internet users were close to only 15% which increased to around 24% in 2017, thanks to player like Reliance Jio, but still we have a long way to go. The other key challenges are around security or cyber security, issues around data privacy n all. Apart from technology, we have challenges in infrastructure as well. Many cities still lacks robust and efficient trunk infrastructure either in terms of sewerage systems, water distribution systems, sanitation so on and so forth. These must be addressed in priority as technology is just an enabler in the overall value chain. Last but not the least, programs like Smart Cities mission, are transformational and has to be in “work in progress” mode continuously. As we know, there are key strategic programs running and monitored by Government around these areas as in due course of time we hope that there would be marked difference and progress in these areas.

 

3. Deepti, there is a lot happening at Microsoft when it comes to smartcities. You have the CityNext initiative, you have been named the most trusted smart-city vendor. In India, you have also worked with Surat on the smartcity initiative but the full scale of your solution is yet to be implemented. Talking strictly about implementation, what are you current projects in India? What is scope of change in next five years and what sort of changes would you like to see in the ecosystem, if any?

 

Many of the projects being implemented under the “safe cities” umbrella that involve Dial-100, emergency response, surveillance etc are on Microsoft platforms. One of the best examples that we have is UP Dial 100 being implemented by our partners which runs on our products such Dynamics, SharePoint, Windows & SQL. Dial 100 for states of TN and MP as well as surveillance for multiple cities in MP, AP and Rajasthan run on Microsoft platforms. We also have many of our partners running solutions in areas of solid waste management, environment monitoring, street light, water network monitoring etc on Microsoft cloud, especially leveraging Azure IOT Hub and data platforms.

 

Given the current cloud era and all new innovations landing on cloud first, we would like to see quicker adoption of cloud in smart cities space – that too in true spirit of cloud where native capabilities of cloud solutions like IOT, data platforms, analytics etc are used (as against creating a private cloud or lifting-shifting on-premise solutions to virtual machines). Only when that starts to happen that the cities will be able to take advantage of innovations in areas of Cognitive, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, IOT and the likes. Besides de-risking implementations from technology obsolescence, using native cloud capabilities also gives client advantages with respect to cost and time to implement. The Government of India (MeITY) has already empaneled Cloud Service providers authorized to provide services to Public Sector Projects and we must take advantage of the same.

 

The good news is that cloud adoption for smart cities has started to happen. Most city RFPs now ask for cloud at least for DR. MP opted for cloud based common IT platforms. Gandhinagar & Warangal have opted for cloud. We currently have a couple of RFPs – TN, Nashik, Chennai – that ask for solutions to be cloud based. I suppose when a couple of such implementations go live and benefits are demonstrated, we will see more traction in cloud adoption which will not only enable fast tracking technology deployment in smart cities but also contribute to a significant amount of saving in creating redundant / duplicate infrastructure. That money saved could be utilized to provide more innovative solutions for smart cities and citizens.

 

4. Dhananjay, there are not many startups in the smartcity sector in India. Also, given the money disbursed under the government initiatives so far is not significant, how challenging is it for a startup to thrive? Are you looking at non-governmental players to monetize your solution? What would be your suggestion for other technology startups looking to enter the sector?

 

Om it is definitely challenging to work in any area as a start-up more so in the field of Infrastructure as capital expenditure is more aligned towards the creation of infrastructure so that the tenancy can be built over it.

 

We are not the primary bidders hence our work with government is towards the education on LoRaWAN as a technology, carrying out Proof of concepts and bringing in LoRaWAN Stack as part of the RFP’s & Tenders. We are working with all Major MSI’s, SI and other enterprises on both government and non-governmental projects. We are setting up a PAN India Public LoRaWAN network hence it is essential for us to interact and work with the entire ecosystem to gain the transaction. I would suggest technology start-up’s to really work hard on the issue they want to address and how unique is there offering, we have heard that India needs unique solutions but that should not mean that we reinvent the wheel, a true unique solution will find its audience and don’t be deterred by failures as they are part of the process.

 

Click to read other virtual roundtable stories. Share your thoughts and suggestions about the series in the comments section. If you would like us to conduct a roundtable on any new technology, let us know at community@nasscom.in

Urbanization and road travel has given rise to a large volume of traffic on highways and roadways. It is set to grow at a greater rate than the cities and roads can accommodate resulted in traffic congestion and increasing the burden on city infrastructure. Cities need more effective tools to improve traffic flow and minimize disruptions caused by incidents and special events. One such technology that can help in addressing these issues is adaptive traffic control systems, which manages unpredictable traffic patterns. 

 

Components of Adaptive Traffic Control Systems

The architecture of adaptive traffic control systems includes detection technologies, support multiple controller hardware platforms, and provide intersection error monitoring, and tools and reports. The system optimizes cycle length, splits, and offsets on a cycle-by-cycle basis and using real-time detection. Although legacy traffic control systems use digital hardware but remain constrained by an analog algorithm such as common cycle lengths, set sequences, fixed offsets and standardized allotment of green time, or splits. Legacy technologies are based on the binary principles that o not adapt to real-time changes in traffic demand caused by geometric constraints and rush hour fluctuations.

Adaptive Traffic Control Systems

 

With the development of digitization, automation, and IT systems, traffic control systems, connected vehicles, and autonomous entities communicate with other vehicles and traffic infrastructure. The real-time adaptive technologies respond to traffic demand every second and enable mid-cycle or even mid-sequence decisions based on traffic’s changing patterns. Pre-determined signaling systems estimate traffic based on small sampling size and generalize the results across historical traffic data. Adaptive traffic control systems constantly monitor and analyze the real-time traffic data to produce optimized results.

 

Adaptive traffic control systems can integrate hardware components, controllers, detection devices, cabinets, the camera for surveillance into the existing architecture. While in-built algorithms respond to continuous data collection, and software enables data reporting capabilities, which provides visibility into signal performance.

 

Advantages of Adaptive Traffic Control Systems

According to Siemens, adaptive signal times have been proven to reduce congestion in complicated networks, reduce stops and delays 20%, travel time 31%, carbon monoxide emissions 4% and fuel usage by 6%.

 

In addition, adaptive traffic control systems offer real-time alarm monitoring capability, a detection alarm monitoring function specifies exact lane with the issue and indicates whether the issue is a static or sporadic signal. Better adaptability function allows ADCS to better control of unpredictable traffic patterns. Traffic can be dynamic at different times of the day, so ADCS accommodates multiple variations without manual intervention. Adaptive traffic control systems provide real-time information for both advanced operations and maintenance monitoring. It includes detection, timing, saturation, status, communication, and coordination information across connected vehicles, and autonomous entities.

 

The evolution will aid municipalities, cities, law enforcement, carriers, and shippers to access real-time information about any location on their mobile devices. This will ensure municipalities to take predictive actions on traffic and parking conditions, prioritize issues, utilize resources more effectively. This will not only monitor congestion and emissions but also control costs and generate analysis for long-term planning of transportation and travel in a city. Cities with adaptive traffic control systems make themselves more desirable as a location for factories, warehouses, and cross-docks.

 

“Reprinted with permission, original blog was posted here”. You may also visit here for more such insights on the digital transformation of industry.

 About ARC Advisory Group (www.arcweb.com): Founded in 1986, ARC Advisory Group is a Boston based leading technology research and advisory firm for industry and infrastructure.

For further information or to provide feedback on this article, please contact lkanickaraj@arcweb.com

 About the Author:

Pranav Misal

Analyst

Pranav’s focus areas at ARC include Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Transportation (Railways, Marine, Aviation), Smart Technology, and Asset Performance Management.

Pranav joined ARC after graduating with an MBA Marketing degree in June 2017.  Prior to ARC, he worked for three years as a technical marketing engineer at Forbes Marshall in Pune, India.  He was responsible for product marketing of condition monitoring systems, and his target industries were oil and gas, power, defense, and transportation.  At Forbes Marshall, he conducted market research and competitive analysis to identify potential markets and effectively used value-based pricing strategies for market penetration.

NASSCOM Community Lead, Om Routray, in conversation with  Ajay Gupta, Global Head, Smart Cities, Tech Mahindra.

 

1. Is Tech Mahindra engaged in any smartcity project in India? Any project details that you can share?

 

Absolutely, there are several projects and Tech Mahindra has been successful in implementing some of the unique and World’s largest programs in Smart Cities domain, one of the key project being Police Emergency Response Management System, UP Dial 100, which is one of the World’s largest project of this nature. Tech Mahindra as consortium partner along with group company, Mahindra Defense, is delivering the promise of safety and security 24X7 to the one of the largest and MOST populated state of India – Uttar Pradesh.

 

The program caters to approximately 220 million people of Uttar Pradesh. It covers an enormous area of 2,40,948 Sqm which covers 689 town and cities and 1,07,452 villages with 1,542 police stations covering the entire region. Under this program we have succeeded in geo tagging about 12 lakh locations in the state, which is a record. These locations help police determine the location of callers. The emergency response system is 24/7 centralised system which helps in communication between the call centre and the closest police from the incident site to ensure the fastest response. Focusing on women empowerment the call centre has more than 400 women working who are part of Tech Mahindra’s response centre. Since the implementation of this program from 19th Nov 2106, 17,25,165 instances where police help has been facilitated and more than 1000 lives has been saved.

 

TechM is also implementing one of the largest solid waste management project in India (Jabalpur City, MP) covering more than 275000 households for door to door collection, 300 community bins and data integration with weighbridge and waste to energy conversion. TechM has got the mandate to set up the police control and command centres (ABHAY) for 4 key cities of Rajasthan as well. Last year Honourable Chief minister of Rajasthan inaugurated the first command centre in Jaipur.   

 

Tech Mahindra IoT Solutions for Smart Cities

As a System Integrator for the connected world, Tech Mahindra’s solutions span the spectrum of needs for Smart Cities. Combined with our global Managed Services capabilities and an industry leading ecosystem of partners, we are a single window partner for concept to roll out to management for Smart City solutions.

 

Some of our solutions include: Smart Parking, Smart Energy Management, Smart Street Lighting, Smart Automated Meter Reading, Smart Bins, Integrated Command and Control Centre. 

 

Benefits include: Measure and reduce energy usage across buildings, Enhance Citizen Experience through smart mobility applications, Prevent vandalism and theft, Assure security within zones, Monitor and manage large areas centrally.

 

  

2. Despite the announcement of smartcities project, progress on the ground is not as swift as was expected. What is your opinion and are there any global best practices that India can follow?

 

Programs like smart cities are huge in size and transformational in nature. Strategic programs of such nature have generally longer cycles.

 

MoUD has defined the Smart Cities programme in a quite structured way in terms of laying down  the framework for selection of cities or addressing tier 3 / rural areas or heritage cities (AMRUT and HRIDAY respectively).

 

GoI has involved some of the global organizations like Bloomberg Philanthropy or project management consultants (PMCs) like PwC, KPMG or E&Y to bring the best global practices. Every shortlisted city has to prepare a Smart City Proposal in which they need to engage in thought collection exercise with citizens to know their pain points and priorities. GoI has been encouraging to use its MyGov (www.mygov.in) platform for such citizen engagements.  

 

These efforts have started showing results also, You must have noticed in the recent ranking which was conducted by INTEL, Bhubaneshwar came in top 20 in worldwide ranking of smart cities. Another example is Mahindra World City, Jaipur was awarded with C40L2 certification, largest project in the World and only 6th major infrastructure project to be recognised with such prestigious award.

 

Having said that we agree that India typically throws a different kind of challenge from their global counter parts as still there is a challenge of having robust trunk infrastructure in place. There are other challenges like business models proposed such as PPP (public private partnership) which discourage Master System Integrators (MSIs) like us to participate in these type of opportunities. Similarly funding, still siloed approach in government departments and lack of accountability in the complete value chain are the some of the key issues to be handled promptly.

 

3. Two years back, when Tech Mahindra bought Pininfarina, it was seen as a foray into designing smartcities. Any success stories that came out of that takeover?

 

Pininfarina is one of the most respected design house in the world, known for designing cars such as  Ferrari has been a great enabler in terms of bringing aesthetics and design angle to buildings architecture. The Air traffic controller at Istanbul, is the landmark design conceptualized and designed by Pininfarina has won several prestigious award as well. Not only building, Pininfarina has also created and designed technical infrastructure products such as Industry grade switches for one of the leading network infrastructure providers in the world. Pininfarina is working on several smart cities projects worldwide where they are primarily handling the city landscape and design part of it.   

 

4. You recently signed a deal with the city of Los Angeles for a smart energy initiative. Can you tell us more about it?

Tech Mahindra had tied up with City of Los Angeles and USC to launch smart city energy initiative. Tech Mahindra has collaborated with City of Los Angeles and the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering and USC Marshall of Business to launch digital platform Community Action Platform for Engagement (“CAPE”) that would help building smarter, sustainable and energy-efficient cities. The pilot of the platform will premier in Los Angeles and will help community groups organize and source alternative energy solutions. The platform uses advanced data analytics including satellite imagery and government energy consumption data that would help generating significant cost savings for local citizens while reducing CO2 emissions. The platform participants would be able to use online forums to recruit their neighbours to create user pools large enough to attract proposals from alternative energy suppliers.

 

The purpose of the new digital platform is to create a marketplace where citizens, community action groups, local authorities and energy suppliers can easily view and select from an array of alternative energy options available in their designated area. This is based on a model which we are doing for Milton Keynes Council in UK. You can refer capeproject.co.uk to know more details of this initiative.

 

5. What is Tech Mahindra’s engagement with other stakeholders in the ecosystem, for example, start-ups, other companies and the government?

Tech Mahindra has announced its plans to rope in 20 to 30 startups a year as its partners under its programme called TechM Next. The startups will primarily lie in the sectors such as networking, communication technology and virtual reality.

 

The company will keep an eye on startups from India, Silicon Valley in the US, the United Kingdom and Israel, and will bring some selected startups under this programme. We plan to further bring the disruptive technologies into its existing business areas.

 

TechM looks  for startups that have generated a considerable amount of traction rather than focusing on startups at the incubation level.

 

6. Do you subscribe to the view that smartcity projects have to be led by the government? Are there any alternate models that can be followed?

Not necessarily, it depends. Smart cities, as I said is quite sizable, infrastructure heavy and transformational in nature. In some geography, these initiatives are led by Telecom operators or even by large-scale enterprise as well. In India also there are examples of smart city programs being implemented by some leading realtors or private entities but the scale may not be very big.   

 

But largely speaking, we feel that such kinds of transformational initiatives should be led by Government and ULB (Urban Local Bodies). Rightly so because ultimately it all boils down to impact on the quality of life of citizens and automation of various citizen to government (C2G) touchpoints and  e-governance .If you see in the US, these programs are driven by City CIOs, in EU region, its driven by City municipal bodies like in India. That’s why Governments worldwide are important stakeholders and should lead programs of such nature and size.

 

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2. Solution: Padharo Udaipur

 

3. Tell us about your product/solution in brief. 

The product is web/app based solution to cater 360 deg needs of any visitor who plans or intend to visit the city. The product aims to build TRUST with the visitors to ensure that the visitors have the best holistic & unbiased experience, to get them around in the city. The tool shall help the visitors plan their stay and day, based on the type of places they intend to visit. The visitors can get the tickets to the places, guided tours, vehicles on rent, and more, just by using the app at their hotels or place of stay. Authenticated content and feedback system for improving various aspects of the city, including cleanliness, parking, etc, enables the tourist/visitor to register suggestion/complaints. 

 

4. Geographic area where your solution is implemented

Currently, the solution is implemented in Udaipur, Rajasthan. And, with this, Udaipur had become the first city to have an end-to-end visitor & tourist management system services, across India, with the launch on 23rd June 2017. Soon, the solution/services would be explored for expansion into other cities.

 

5. What was the client requirement and objective of the project

Objective: The objective of this project was to bring consolidation in various aspects and needs associated with a visitor when he/she visits a city. And, to focus on TRUST building of the visitor. All this while ensuring that the actual potential of tourism within a city is exploited effectively, for better.

 

Requirement: To have a single stop solution for all the visitor needs, that ensures that the visitors can TRUST on the visitors

 

6. Give details of your solution, implementation and its impact

The solution is a web plus mobile platform offering holistic information and services to the visitors/tourists coming to the city. It ranges from necessity aspects (like fuel, money, administration, health etc) to experience (guides, tours, places, food) to community (volunteering) to sharing your stories and feedbacks for administration and others to improve experiences.

 

Also, the solution aims to build the supply side while connecting the users to trustworthy and reliable experience services.

 

if you have any queries, we have the founder Kapil Sharma with us. Follow smartcities to read more related content. 

Figure 1 [1]

Improvement of transportation conditions due to traffic congestion problems is high on the Indian government’s agenda for urban cities like Mumbai. India, one of the fastest growing economies in the world, is achieving a growth rate of 7.5% per annum. With a growing population too, the country is working hard to transform itself over the next few decades.

According to the Census 2011, at least 377 million Indians, comprising about 31 per cent of the country’s population, live in urban areas. Today, India’s urban population is more than the entire population of a country like United States of America or Brazil. The urbanization level in India is set to further increase and the urban population is expected to reach about 600 million by 2030. Unfortunately, today we are witnessing more and more congestion on the streets of our cities which is leading to problems like road accidents, air and noise pollution, posing serious health hazards for citizens [2]. To build inclusive, safer, and more sustainable cities of tomorrow, technology will play a decisive role in identifying mobility gaps and transforming existing transportation services.

Mumbai is one of the most highly populated cities and is the capital city of Maharashtra, also called the financial capital of India. With a population of 21.3 million and a high population density of nearly 21,000 persons/square km, the demand of proper transportation system and the role of the transportation system in the lives of the average earning population are crucial. Currently the majority of Mumbai’s population relies on the bus and public rail services.

The expansion and growth of buses as well as rail transportation modes in Mumbai has proven to be insufficient to match the growth of population in this hub of business. There are other new modes of transportation like metro rail, mono rail and electric buses which are also being introduced in the city and have low carbon foot prints and provide better services i.e. less noisy, air conditioned, less commutation time.

Major modes of transportation

  • Railways (Mumbai Suburb Rail)

Mumbai suburban railway is the lifeline of the city, as per the recorded data, more than 80% of all the motorized trips are undertaken on public bus and rail services and more than half of the trips of public transport mentioned above are taken on the rail services.

 

Figure 2: Mumbai Suburban Map [3]

Figure 3: Mumbai Suburban [4]

 

Approximately 8 million commuters use the 2900 trains of the suburban rail system. During peak hours these trains are overcrowded to nearly four times the network’s capacity.

 

Various initiatives are taken by the state government to improve the condition of the suburban railway system along with the World Bank, named the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP I, II & III) [5].

     

  • Buses [6]

BEST (Brihanmumbai Electric Supply & Transport) introduced Mumbai to its first bus and finally on 10th February of 1926 as replacement of tramcars. The popularity of motor buses increased exponentially, and people started using buses frequently for traveling as it used to be a faster way to travel as compared to tramcars. With the frequent availability of buses, its regularity, quickness, and cleanliness, people started preferring motor-buses above any other mode of transportation.

 

Within a year the fleet of motor-buses started to expand to meet the public transportation service demand. To meet the public demand, the public started hiring private buses by the end of the first year, 600K passengers used the service and in the next year with the help of better management and addition of new fleet, the figure rose to 3.8 million. Since then BEST is one of the major modes of transportation in Mumbai. Due to various reasons, now BEST services are in trouble and unable to provide the increasing demand of bus services, Increasing the Mumbai population [7], increasing the private car density (the highest density is 430 cars per kilometer[8]), the fleet of BEST has not shown the same growth as the population of Mumbai (fallen 21 percent in last 5 years [9]) , high road accidents [10], and financial crisis [11] are some of the major issues.

 

 

 

From older facilities like share-an-auto services, to infrastructure projects like the Mumbai Metro and the Mumbai Monorail, to private sector offerings like app-driven private taxi services by, all have taken passengers away from the BEST.

 

  • Private vehicles [12]

Over the past 5 years, the number of vehicles in Mumbai has grown from 200K to 300K, an increase of 50%, however the road length in Mumbai, at around 2,000km, has not changed significantly during the period. The main reason for people to buy private vehicles are inefficient public transport and easy availability of car loans for buying vehicles. These private vehicles are responsible for increasing the vehicle density in Mumbai and lead to traffic issues and encroachment of public roads due to lack of sufficient parking spaces in the city.

To reduce private vehicles in urban areas and boost public transport, the state government has come up with a new urban transport draft policy which has suggested introducing additional charges to the cost of vehicle and high parking charges based on location [13].

 

Modernization projects in Mumbai

  • Mumbai Metro [14]

 

Figure 4: Mumbai Metro [15]

Mumbai Metro is a rapid transit system serving the city of Mumbai. The system is designed to reduce traffic congestion in the city, and supplement the overcrowded Mumbai Suburban Railway network. It is being built in three phases over a 15-year period, with overall completion expected in 2025. When completed, the core system will comprise of 8 high-capacity metro railway lines, spanning a total of 235 kms (146 mi) (24% underground, the rest elevated, with a minuscule portion built at-grade), and serviced by 200 stations. Line 1 is operational now. The status of the project is as follows:

Figure 5: Mumbai Metro master plan [16]

 

  • Monorail [17]

Figure 6 : Mumbai Monorail [18]

Where the systems like the Metro cannot be implemented, Monorail can be easily implemented and can negotiate sharp turns and climb up and down steep gradients easily. The system started commercial operation after partially opening its Phase 1 to the public in 2014. Upon the completion of entire Phase 1 in mid-2017, the Mumbai Monorail is set to become the fifth-largest monorail system in the world.

The cost of the monorail service was estimated in 2010 to be ₹2.0 billion (roughly ₹850 million (US$13 million) per km). Approximately 135 kms (84 mi) of line is planned to be built in phases between 2011 and 2031.

The Mumbai Monorail master plan proposed the construction of 8 lines at a cost of ₹202.96 billion (US$3.2 billion).

Figure 7 : Mumbai Monorail master plan [19]

  • Electric buses [20]

Introduction of new e-buses, run on lithium ion batteries. Unlike the buses run on fossil fuels, they do not have an engine, gearbox or clutch. Electric motors ensure that they are noiseless and smokeless. They are more eco-friendly than hybrid electric and compressed natural gas-run buses.

Figure 8 : Mumbai Electric Bus [21]

 

  • Virtual Taxi, Bus and Auto Apps [22]

 

Figure 9 [23]

The simplest way to grab a cab today is to reach into your pocket and use an app. Whether you’re running late for work or feeling too lazy to get bothered by the super-dense crush load of local trains, there’s a cab for every occasion. There are loads of superb apps for booking cabs on the go. We have plethora of options for Mumbai such as Meru, Ola, Uber, Easy Cab, Taxi for Sure, and Tab Cab. So just sit back, relax, & plan your itinerary.

rBus, Cityflo and OfficeBus offer point-to-point private bus services to many areas of Mumbai city. And apps such as Jump In Jump Out, LiftO, BlaBlaCar and Tripda allow people to seek out or offer lifts and share the cost of commuting by taxi or autorickshaws in addition to private vehicles.

All these services are less than a 2-3 years old, set up by young entrepreneurs who spotted a gap in the market. The main features of these services are ease of use and flexibility, the new contract carriage services offer better infrastructure (air-conditioning, wifi, reclining seats, water bottles and newspapers) and even a sense of community.

Hurdle for new Innovative Solution in transportation:

In the absence of reliable travel data for Mumbai city, until now, has made it difficult for public officials to assess the impact of infrastructure projects on urban mobility and to identify future needs. This is no longer the case with developments in geo-mapping technologies and open standards, with GTFS (General Transit Feed Specification) being the most commonly used. Transit agencies need to make GTFS feeds on routes and schedules and GIS locations on transport infrastructure publicly available. Some transit agencies have also released data sets on budgetary, performance and ridership data. 

 

Scope of ICT in transformation of Mumbai Transportation [24]

The ICT sector contributes about 2% of global  Carbon dioxide (chemical formula CO2) emissions, but can help to eliminate a significant portion of the remaining 98% from other industries. Fully integrating transport infrastructure, vehicles and users with ICT has been shown to significantly reduce environmental impact and deliver improved safety and efficiency. It also enables the connectivity required to support infrastructure for future green vehicles (electric vehicles).

 

As suggested by an ICT Industry leader, the state can have a strategy in 2 parts to drive the transformation. Firstly, working in partnership with local academia/university to develop intelligent ICT-enabled solutions, including primarily operators but also utilities, transportation, governments and others. And secondly actively engaging with stakeholders and policymakers regionally and nationally to inform public policy and to drive initiatives to accelerate the potential of broadband to transform cities, reduce carbon, increase efficiency, spur innovation, and enhance life quality.

 

The approach to connecting the transportation industry can be focused on providing solutions in three stages: connected, cooperating and automated.

 

Figure10: Transformation in transportation [25]

 

The first stage is all about connecting different elements of the transport ecosystem – vehicles and the infrastructure that supports their mobility like roads, traffic lights and bus stops – through wireless sensors. The three main challenges within transportation are safety, efficiency, and sustainability; connectivity is the first step to improving all three of these.

The Connected Urban Transport is a completely new way to connect everything and everyone that moves. It is a solution that enables data sharing and takes interaction between infrastructure, traffic and all stakeholders to a new level. It is an important cornerstone in the transport industry's transition from merely being connected, to being cooperative and automated. The Connected Urban Transport gives transport authorities and cities the ability to aggregate and analyze diverse, real-time data from connected vehicles, infrastructure, and devices. The solution thereby expands their insights and assists with operational decision-making.

 

The scope of the connected urban transport:

 

Figure 11: Connected Urban transport [26]

  • Combine and control: Collect real-time data from vehicles, roadside infrastructure and travelers. Allow data sharing to proactively deliver timely and accurate information to the right recipients.
  • Predict and suggest: This out-of-the-box software enables monitoring, managing and sharing of real time traffic data and road condition data, between people, various modes of transportation and authorities.
  • Turn your insignts into actions: When traffic and road information is allowed to interact, it is possible to proactively deliver the right information to the right stakeholders. This will give us a more efficient and sustainable urban environment with a new range of digital services. With real time insight, traffic flows can ultimately become automated.

 

Solution for integrated mobility

Multi-modal fare collection offers a sole source for trip planning, mobile ticketing and payment and connected multiple transport service providers. With one solution, mobility service providers can now offer citizens a seamless transportation experience that can also reduce the need for exclusive reliance on private cars.

Figure 12 : Integrated Mobility [27]

 

  • Provides one-stop-shop access for trip planning and payment.
  • Supports new business models and partnerships.
  • Creates personalized solutions to meet traveler's preferences.

For example, Implementation of an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) that fully supports the public buses operation can be implemented, this ITS may include:

  • Integrated E-ticketing system for BEST Buses, Rail System, Metro and Monorail
  • System for automatic vehicle location (AVL)
  • Real Time Passenger Information system (RTPI)
  • Traffic management system that provides priority to buses
  • CCTV system at intersections and bus stops
  • Control Rooms

 

Conclusion

Any mobility crisis is a unique one, seeing as it involves a multitude of actors from transit agencies to ICT entrepreneurs. To meet the challenge effectively, a dialogue between stakeholders is essential to evaluate assets and to devise innovative mobility solutions. New mobility is a lucrative industry  one that can serve local communities and provide opportunities to many. As the Mumbai state government looks to make sustainable urban transport a priority, Mumbai can become a model for policymakers and entrepreneurs in India to use ICT to provide customized, safe and sustainable transportation to all.

Reference Links

[1]:https://i.pinimg.com/736x/ce/b8/96/ceb89617ac20273062a715a2d6b884a5--mumbai-metro-gazette.jpg

[2] :HPEC ,20110

[3]:https://goo.gl/KPvmZx

[4]:http://images.indianexpress.com/2015/02/mumbai-local.jpg

[5]:https://mmrda.maharashtra.gov.in/

[6]:http://theory.tifr.res.in/bombay/history/transport.html

[7]:http://www.indiaonlinepages.com/population/mumbai-population.html

[8]:https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/At-430/km-Mumbai-has-highest-car-density/articleshow/52825161.cms

[9]:https://www.mumbailive.com/en/transport/best-buses-losing-cache-with-citizens-12906

[10]:http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/ministry-releases-data-road-accidents-in-2016-mumbai-5th-among-50-4832103/

[11]:http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/in-the-red/article18344667.ece

[12]:https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/no-of-vehicles-in-city-up-50-in-5-yrs/articleshow/56302918.cms

[13]:https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/state-draft-proposes-costlier-vehicles-high-parking-fees/articleshow/59042684.cms

[14]:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumbai_Metro

[15]:Image 4: http://mumbai-metro.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1a.jpg

[16]:Image 5: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumbai_Metro

[17]:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumbai_Monorail

[18]:http://static.financialexpress.com/m-images/M_Id_458919_Mumbai_monorail.jpg

[19]:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumbai_Monorail

[20]:http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/after-45-years-electric-buses-return-to-mumbai-s-streets/story-MrC7M868xiwpti5TAPtkbO.html

[21]:https://i.ndtvimg.com/i/2017-11/goldstone-electric-bus-mumbai-best_827x510_51510339222.jpg

[22]:http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai/new-apps-virtual-taxi-sharing-solutions-fill-gaps-in-mumbai-s-transport-system/story-1lnXJVGLXoXh15vTYL7HfJ.html

[23]:https://goo.gl/XmhURH

[24]:https://www.ericsson.com/en/industries/intelligent-transport-systems/solutions/integrated-mobility

[25]:https://goo.gl/egLJ4C

[26]:https://www.ericsson.com/assets/global/scaled/cut-demo-image_470x265_90_167587.jpg

[27]:https://www.ericsson.com/assets/global/scaled/_dsc7615_retouched-2_594x396_90_43497.jpg

 

 

Appendix

  • BEST - Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport
  • MMRDA - Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority
  • MUTP - Mumbai Urban Transport Project

 

 

Note : This article is first published on http://iglus.org/mumbai-transportation-system-transformation/ .

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There has been a lot of push in India toward smart cities. We are talking to different #smartcity stakeholders to understand how much work is done on the ground. We are also talking to startups to understand what is the scope for innovation and implementation in this segment. Here we are in talks with the co-founder Ashish Sharma  of Civilcops. 

 

  1. Tell us about CivilCops. How does it work?

We started CivilCops, with a basic idea of helping citizens report civic and social issues. The idea evolved over time, and now we build mobile and web soft wares for civic-issue identification, resolution and analytics. The citizens have access to various mobile tools, that they can use to submit grievances, and the authorities can aggregate, resolve and analyse them, all in real time.

 

  1. Where has your solution been implemented? Give us a few examples.

We started to work with the Government of Delhi (Public Grievance Management System, CMO), then we tried to look into more specific authorities and use cases. Recently, we were invested in, by Smart Dubai and StartupBootCamp SmartCity, Dubai and now are planning to run projects with Roads & Transport Authority, Dubai & Dubai Airport Free zone Authority.

 

  1. How are issues reported resolved? Any success stories to share?

One of our most important KPIs is the number of resolved complaints, and so our products are designed to bring in faster resolution. Our management systems are decentralised, built-in with features enabling transparency.  Last year, when Delhi was grappling for fresh air, our ChatBot helped people resolve over a 100 complaints in just a week.

 

  1. Given the adoption gap both on public and government side, what is the scope in India?

The governments are designed hierarchically in a way, that approvals and implementation take time. Governments are never agile, anywhere around the world. However, we have received great feedback from the authorities in India, we have worked with and so, I think with the digitisation of governance, there is going to be a gradual & constant shift towards e-initiatives like these.

 

Read about other startups in the series by using the pitch