Las Vegas is all in on becoming a smart city, translating that commitment to a charter, “to provide safe, reliable and efficient civic technology that stimulates economic growth”.
Las Vegas has invested significantly in smart infrastructure to make the charter a reality, from installing 123 miles of fibre optic cable to creating other smart solutions around the city, such as the first autonomous passenger bus route in the United States.
NTT has also joined Las Vegas to help implement the city’s vision, starting with a smart safety solution.
“Cities that learn, understand and invest in technology will be the cities of the future, and Las Vegas is at the forefront of innovation,” said Michael Sherwood, Director of Innovation and Technology, City of Las Vegas.
In the Las Vegas Innovation District, NTT Smart Solutions are leveraging internet of things (IoT), edge and predictive analytics to help improve public safety.
High-definition video cameras, sound and motion sensors, and an array of IoT devices are being integrated and deployed to monitor a geographic area within the Innovation District to create a multi-channel solution. The solution set also integrates historical data sources, such as crime, weather and social media data.
This offers many public safety benefits. For example, video cameras could scan for a licence plate identified in an AMBER Alert or help locate a missing person. The integrated solution could detect a vehicle of interest (such as stolen vehicles or vehicles associated with criminal activities) or a vehicle driving in the wrong direction, as well as gunshots, panic screams or breaking glass, assisting and alerting first responders in real time.
NTT Smart Solutions proactively provide real-time notification of potential and active public safety incidents to first responders, as well as command and control authorities. By leveraging advanced predictive analytics, including machine learning technologies, the system ‘learns’ normal patterns and detects patterns that are abnormal.
The system also monitors specific types of incidents that can be detected through video and sound sensor analytics running on edge compute devices. This can be expanded to detect and alert a wider variety of incident types or configured to interact with new data sources that are based on open standards.
Future plans could include advanced contextual and situational awareness modules or other advanced detection components, and automated incident response components, such as drone deployments, for greater awareness of the developing situation
The systems deployed in Las Vegas’ Innovation District ‘think’ and can assess multiple data sources, perceive current conditions, and plan, decide and act on those conditions. The solution can even learn from the consequences of its actions, using past knowledge to refine current and future decisions.
NTT’s solution in Las Vegas involves many technologies and partners, all seamlessly integrated to facilitate safety:
- Sensors and edge computing at work: Using a secure smart platform with micro data centres located near sensors around the Innovation District allows for rapid deployment of ICT resources and faster analysis of sensor inputs, enabling safety professionals to detect incidents and take actions quickly.
- Predictive and diagnostic analytics at play: Micro data centres use advanced analytics to deliver real-time to locations where data can provide maximum value. Diagnostic analytics at the edge analyse large volumes of data, but only send data indicating an incident has occurred or needs investigation back to the core. This approach minimises data transport volumes and response times to reduce the demands on the ICT infrastructure.
- Applying artificial intelligence (AI): Cognitive analytics correlate and apply AI and machine learning techniques to the multiple edge data inputs and sources, including historical data, crime information, weather data and social media updates. This information provides deeper insights for responsive services to combat crime and improve public safety.
- Deep learning at work: NTT Smart Solutions allow the ICT infrastructure to monitor, adjust or move workloads dynamically, based on the specific situation. For example, in future versions, if an AMBER alert is issued, the system could automatically scale up the network and compute power for the portions of the system that perform enhanced and licence plate recognition functions or capture higher resolution images than normal.
According to a recent study by the McKinsey Global Institute, combining additional technologies could have a dramatic impact on public safety. McKinsey asserts that cities that deploy a broad spectrum of smart technologies could reduce fatalities from homicides, road traffic and fires by as much as 10 percent.
The more data and information, the safer the city. Imagine the possibilities if an emergency call centre was optimised, getting first responders underway faster. As responders race toward the emergency, what if traffic signals were synchronised to give emergency vehicles the right of way?
Every second that could be shaved off a response time could save a life. As populations increase in cities, the demand for services will also increase and create more pressure on the limited resources available. Any efficiencies gained through technology that improve safety, provide peace of mind and reduce crime are well worth the investment.
NTT Smart Solutions are a force multiplier, enabling governments and other organisations to do more with less.
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