The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) has partnered with the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and Alibaba to introduce the City Brain to KL’s traffic management systems. Introducing for the first time AI driven capabilities to manage traffic in the country’s capital.
Malaysia’s City Brain represents the first time that the technology is being used outside of Alibaba’s home in China. Originally deployed in Hangzhou, the AI system makes use of existing traffic management infrastructure and makes it easier to sift through the resulting torrent of information. Ideally, resulting in improved traffic flow and reduced congestion.
It will be connected to some 300 traffic lights and 500 traffic CCTV cameras within the inner ring road in KL. Allowing the council to monitor traffic within the central business district. However, there are plans to expand the pilot programme to the greater KL area later this year.
MDEC itself is not willing to put traffic improvements into numbers yet. According to MDEC CEO, Datuk Yasmin Mahmood, actually improving conditions in the city centre require far more data that just that from the CBD itself. It would involve coordinating matters from the greater KL area, as well as information from the surrounding feeder cities and towns.
Introducing City Brain to Malaysia is part of the National AI Framework; which is the country’s effort to place itself as a hub for Big Data Analytics. Essentially, this is the first step in expanding the AI development capabilities within Malaysia.
One note that was stressed during the announcement of the partnership was that this is a strategic partnership; one that doesn’t involve building massive amounts of infrastructure. Which is unlike the City Brain Alibaba group runs in its home ground of Hangzhou.
Later phases of the Malaysia City Brain will see MDEC publish SDKs and APIs for tapping into the massive amount of data. It will then push towards making traffic solutions into a true public-private project; promoting local interests in adopting AI technology.