城市的進化論

智慧方城市
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2018 / 8月

文‧曾蘭淑 圖‧莊坤儒


人工智慧、物聯網、大數據,與雲端運算等科技發展,如何連結我們的生活,增進城市治理的效率?

「智慧城市」的提案,便是全球各大都市,因應都市發展的需要與生活環境的變化,運用新科技,進行一波改造城市的實驗與行動。結合政府的力量、市民的創意,與產業的能量,探索永續、幸福與科技生活的可能性。

 


英國文學家威爾斯(Herbert George Wells)19世紀在《未來的故事》一文中預言,22世紀的都市漫無止境地成長,鄉間卻荒蕪。都市生活擁擠,充滿壓力,人類卻無法逃離。

威爾斯的預言可能成真,因為根據聯合國預估,2050年全球將有70%人口居住在都市,2030年將出現43個超過千萬人的巨型城市。

但為了不讓科幻文學家如此悲傷的預言一語成讖,人類居安思危,興起「智慧城市」提案,利用資訊通訊科技(ICT),解決都市愈來愈嚴重的交通阻塞、垃圾、空氣汙染、能源耗竭。更進一步,勾勒出城市智慧化的願景,帶動產業創新,同時提供人們舒適便利的生活,達到永續、宜居的目標。

全球智慧城市,趁勢崛起

智慧城市的定義包羅萬象,工研院產業科技國際策略發展所所長蘇孟宗指出,智慧城市可以涵蓋資訊城市(Information City)、數位城市(Digital City)及無所不在的城市(Ubiquitous City)等,意指利用資通訊技術,應用在各種城市智慧基礎建設上,達到城市的永續發展,改善人民生活品質,與提升城市競爭力。

蘇孟宗說,打造智慧城市,成為全球各大城市重要的施政目標。歐洲聯盟從2007年開始推動永續發展的低碳智慧城市,例如荷蘭的阿姆斯特丹以數個專案計劃,通過節能技術,降低二氧化碳排放量和能量消耗。美國西雅圖發展「智慧電網計劃」以節約能源;日本的「i-Japan」計劃以促進ICT產業的發展,達到建立智慧型社會的目標,智慧城市儼然成為全球城市重要發展的策略與趨勢。

行政院2016年底開始請宏碁集團創辦人施振榮領軍,成立智慧城市推動小組,透過「亞洲.矽谷」進行前瞻性的智慧城市發展規劃。五都也各自成立「智慧城市專案辦公室」來推動智慧城市的建設。

然而全球智慧城市的發展策略也與時俱進。蘇孟宗所長指出,歐美智慧城市的發展,逐漸從注重新興科技應用,或是推出亮點的基礎建設,轉向解決在地問題,透過建立公民參與、由下而上(Bottom up)的共享式平台,達到創新經濟、群眾集思目的。例如倫敦針對市民、企業,提供網路平台「Talk London Community」,來共同激發出解決問題的提案;芬蘭創立科技創業聚會Slush,舉辦城市駭客松競賽(Hackathon),讓有創意的業者加入市政建設的行列,鼓勵創業機會。

台北市:智慧城市實驗室

台北市2016年設立「智慧城市專案辦公室」(TPMO),即是以作為一個「媒合平台」的想法出發,引進新創或科技業者的智慧應用,來解決市民需求,讓台北市成為一座智慧城市的「生活實驗室」。

台北市資訊局長李維斌強調,智慧城市不是一個名詞,而是一個動詞;智慧城市不是一項目標,而是一個手段,「將資訊科技與革新帶進公部門,把公部門的機會介紹出去」,柯文哲市長強調的「永續、宜居」才是智慧城市的目標。

總計2年來,TPMO已推動包括無人公車、共享汽車與摩托車等超過120個以上的智慧城市專案,成功率為26.7%。

目前在台北市健康路與洲子街設置的智慧路燈,便是正在實驗中的例子。

光寶科技旗下光林照明事業部與台北市政府合作,在松山區健康路的3個街區,設置「智慧IoT路燈號誌共桿」示範點,除了實現LED路燈、紅綠燈共桿之外,還搭載多項物聯網感測器,市府可透過智慧系統,遠端即時監控空氣品質與路況。

另一處智慧路燈的實驗場域,則是艾普仕等3家公司在內湖區港墘路與洲子街,嘗試透過路燈,追蹤銀髮族、寵物的行動,垃圾車與公車的車流,以及監控路邊停車現況,即時回饋至雲端機房,民眾可以透過手機查詢相關資訊。一旦實驗成功,市府計劃將全市路燈逐步升級為智慧路燈。

空氣盒子,公民科技典範

「空氣盒子」則是智慧應用方案成功的例子。台灣許多民眾關心空氣品質與細懸浮微粒(PM2.5)的汙染議題。2016年台北市先在150個國小,佈設由訊舟科技、瑞昱半導體捐贈的「空氣盒子」來監測空氣品質,學校藉此可以進行環境教育。

這台能檢測PM2.5、濕度、溫度的空氣盒子,透過中研院與民間創客社群「開源公益環境感測網路」(LASS,Location Aware Sensing System)合作,分析大數據,將所有監測資訊上網公開,讓民眾可以透過空氣盒子APP與網站查看,吸引全省各縣市政府共襄盛舉。訊舟科技從善如流,以公益專案,從南到北佈設二千多個據點,讓台灣成為擁有全球最密集的微型空氣品質監測的國家。

「空氣盒子」也成為智慧城市所強調由政府、民間業者與人民共同合作,建立「合作夥伴關係機制」(4P, Public-Private-People Partnership)的最佳案例。尤其是熱心民眾會主動打電話給學校,通報空氣盒子壞掉了,需要維修,很多環保團體每天都會關注空氣盒子的數據,討論各地的空氣品質,中研院研究員陳伶志稱空氣盒子是台灣「公民科技」的成功典範。

透過智慧城市展,空氣盒子名聲遠播,甚至還賣到新加坡與韓國。特別的是,韓國的社區媽媽透過空氣盒子的品質監測,發現空氣汙染很嚴重,還組成社群,集體向韓國政府施壓要求改善,2017年韓國慶尚南道教育廳還來台灣交流。運用互聯網科技的空氣盒子,成為與民眾生活結合的「參與式感測」。

科技與創意,城市再進化

台灣還有許多城市,結合大數據、物聯網與AI人工智慧,精進市政建設與服務。例如新北市「服務雲」、「高雄城市資料平台」都是政府整合跨局處的資訊,公開屬於公眾的資訊,提升城市治理效能,也提供更多便民的服務。

還有許多因地制宜的城市創新案例,例如桃園市民可以下載「水情APP」,有豪雨時可以立即得知淹水處,參考避難路線,熱心民眾還可以透過APP通報淹水災情。台南市政府與成功大學合作,推出「掌蚊人」雲端整合防疫平台,建置防疫地圖、噴藥地圖等開放資料,做成防疫APP,強化防疫效能。

桃園市消防局以3年時間整合7個局處、16個系統,所建立的「智慧行動派遣119」,便是透過物聯網,蒐集所有的資訊,分析後進行智慧決策的先例。

以往消防隊員必須翻查清冊,找消防水源系統。如果火場放置了對消防人員最脆弱的易燃物與毒化物,例如柴油、硝酸或是甲苯,急如星火之際,消防人員得翻厚達四百多頁的「參考書」,針對毒性與使用情形進行交叉比對,必須分秒必爭的8分鐘過去了。

現在有了「智慧行動派遣119」,119勤務中心一接到火災或地震等報案電話,現場指揮官打開APP,對出勤車輛的即時戰力瞭若指掌,可以立即調兵遣將。有毒化物,APP會提醒消防隊員提高警覺,同時一併分析毒性與救災方式,指揮官即可採取適合的進攻救火方式。

桃園消防局指出,經有效運用APP,黃金搶救時間從104年的521秒,至106年的468 秒,減少53秒。

AI監測,安全生活

AI影像辨識的技術大量運用在警政管理與交通安全,強化智慧城市應用。工研院與新竹市警察局、新北市警察局合作運用「DeepLook雲端智慧影像分析系統」,當員警需要追蹤違規肇事車輛,或是查緝贓車,必須調閱路口監視器時,這套系統運用人工智慧技術,透過巨量資料分析,以雲端運算快速將大量車流、人流進行分類,辨識車牌,同時進行遠程追蹤,篩選出可用資訊,大幅加快案件處理速度。

很多交通事故都是因為「搶紅、黃燈」釀禍。工研院資通所研發一套「十字路口防碰撞警示系統」,先行在新竹縣市6個易肇事的路口設置。這套系統可在十字路口偵測危險車輛,在快相撞前3秒以影音警告駕駛人「有人欲違規闖紅黃燈」,預期可降低路口事故車禍達55%,這是台灣迎接智慧車聯網時代的最新技術。

工研院所長蘇孟宗說:「未來除了單一城市的創新應用,也應考慮到能以相同的系統,進行跨城市的擴散,才能產生足夠的經濟效益,就像YouBike與大眾捷運結合的智慧交通,以及電子收費ETC,還能向世界輸出,開拓海外市場。」

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近期文章

英文

An Urban Evolution

Esther Tseng /photos courtesy of Chuang Kung-ju /tr. by Scott Williams

How are artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, big data, cloud-based computing and other technological developments linking our lives and improving city administration?

“Smart city” proposals are driving experimentation and interest in using these new technologies to address the developmental needs and changing living environments of major cities around the world. Such proposals exploit the power of government, the creativity of citizens, and the capabilities of industry to explore the feasibility of greater sustainability and happiness, and more technology-­oriented lifestyles.

 


In his 1897 novella “A Story of Days to Come,” British author H.G. Wells describes a 22nd century of boundless urban growth and rural decay that traps human beings in stressful, overcrowded urban lives.

Wells’ vision of the future may well hit the mark. The United Nations anticipates that by 2030 there will be 43 megacities worldwide with populations of more than 10 million people, and that by 2050 nearly 70% of the world’s population will live in cities.

Smart city proposals seek to utilize information and communications technology (ICT) to resolve common urban problems: worsening traffic congestion, waste disposal, air pollution and energy consumption. They also chart out a vision for creating cities that are more comfortable and sustainable by making them “smart,” making urban life more convenient, and encouraging business innovation.

Smart cities take flight

Stephen Su, general director of the Industry, Science and Technology International Strategy Center at the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), says that city governments around the world have become focused on making their cities “smarter.” One aspect of this involves sustainably developed low-carbon smart cities, which the European Union began promoting in 2007. Amsterdam, which has been pursuing numerous projects to use energy-­saving technologies to reduce CO2 emissions and energy consumption, provides one example of the EU’s efforts. But the smart city trend isn’t limited to Europe. In the United States, the city of Seattle has developed a “smart grid” that helps save energy. In Japan, the i-Japan program is promoting the development of ICT businesses as a stepping stone to a “smart society.”

Smart city development strategies are advancing around the world. Su says that in Europe the focus in the development of smart cities has gradually shifted from emerging technology applications and infrastructure construction to solving local problems. These new strategies are using civic participation and shared bottom-up platforms to gather public views and build “innovation economies.” For example, London has provided its citizens and businesses with an online platform called Talk London that elicits proposals to solve problems. Meanwhile, Finland organizes an annual technology and startup event called the Slush conference, and an urban hackathon that promotes startup opportunities and encourages innovative businesses to participate in city development.

A smart-city lab

Taipei established the Tai­pei Smart City Project Management Office (TPMO) in 2016 to match applications from tech companies and other innovative firms to city needs. In so doing, it has turned Tai­pei into something of a living laboratory for the smart city concept.

Lee Wei-bin, commissioner of the Tai­pei City Department of Information Technology, suggests that “smart city” is more process than name, more a method than a single objective. “It’s a means of bringing information technology and innovation into government offices, and of making government’s needs known to the private sector.”

Over the last two years, the TPMO has promoted more than 120 smart city projects, including self-­driving shuttles, car sharing and motorcycle sharing; 26.7% have been considered successful.

The city is currently testing smart streetlights along sections of Jian­kang Road in Song­shan District and ­Zhouzi Street in ­Neihu.

Leotek, a Lite-On business group, worked with the Tai­pei City Government to install “Smart IoT Shared-Pole Street Lights” along three blocks of Jian­kang Road. In addition to placing LED streetlights on the same poles as traffic signals, the poles also include a variety of Internet-of-Things (IoT) sensors that allow the city government to remotely monitor air quality and traffic conditions in real time.

The other smart streetlight pilot project has IPS and two other companies testing lights around Gang­qian Road and ­Zhouzi Street in ­Neihu District that also track the movements of senior citizens and pets, the current locations of buses and garbage trucks, and the streetside parking situation. The streetlights’ sensors report the information in real time to cloud-based servers that make it available to the public via their cellphones. If the test is successful, the city government plans to gradually upgrade all of the city’s streetlights to smart lights.

Citizen tech

The AirBox is an example of a successful smart application. Many of Taiwan’s citizens are concerned about air quality and the problem of fine particulate matter (PM2.5). In 2016, Tai­pei placed AirBox air quality monitors given to the city by the companies Edimax and Realtek at 150 of the city’s elementary schools, which use them to facilitate environmental education. 

The AirBox monitors PM2.5, temperature and humidity. The Academia Sinica and Location Aware Sensing System (LASS), a maker group, then use big-data analysis on the data collected, and make it available to the public via the AirBox app and the Internet. With cities and counties all over Taiwan showing interest, Edimax went on to make AirBox a public welfare project and deploy more than 2,000 units across the island, providing Taiwan with the world’s densest national network of PM2.5 monitors.

The AirBox exemplifies the kind of public-­private-people partnership (4P) stressed under the smart city concept. As Academia Sinica research fellow Chen Ling-jyh puts it, the AirBox is a successful example of Taiwanese “citizen technology.”

Tech and innovation

Many Taiwanese cities are combining big data, the IoT, and artificial intelligence to improve city government services and development. For example, New Tai­pei City’s cloud services and Kao­hsiung’s Smart City portal both integrate and disseminate information from multiple departments to the public to improve city administration and provide citizens with convenient access to additional city services.

In Tao­yuan, the fire department spent three years building a smart mobile emergency dispatch system that integrates information from seven departments and 16 systems. The system uses the IoT to gather and analyze data, then creates a smart resolution sequence to handle emergencies.

When the 119 emergency services center receives a call about a fire or earthquake damage, for example, the commander on the scene consults the system app, which provides a variety of information, including the real-time status of response vehicles, that helps speed the department’s response. If the center receives a call about a toxic chemical spill, the app helps the on-scene commander select the most appropriate emergency response by providing information on the hazardous substance involved.

The Taoyuan Fire Department says that effective use of the app cut the average response time from 521 seconds in 2015 to 468 seconds in 2017.

With AI-based image recognition technology now frequently used for police work, the scope of smart city applications has expanded further. DeepLook, a smart, cloud-based image analysis system jointly operated by the ITRI, the Hsin­chu City Police Bureau and the New Tai­pei City Police Department, provides one example of this. When a police officer pursuing a stolen vehicle, or one that has been involved in a violation or an accident, needs to access traffic camera data, the cloud-based DeepLook system utilizes AI technology and big-data analysis to rapidly sort through large volumes of vehicle and pedestrian traffic to identify the relevant license plate, greatly increasing the speed with which cases are handled.

The ITRI’s Stephen Su says, “Moving forward, we should look beyond the development of innovative applications for individual cities, and investigate whether we can seed these same systems across multiple cities to create economies of scale. Examples might include smart transportation that integrates YouBike with mass transit, or electronic payments, or what have you. We could develop foreign markets and export such systems around the world.”

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