Smart nation Singapore
At the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona in November 2018, Singapore won the Smart City price of 2018. This Asian financial metropolis benefits from its location even though it is squeezed between its neighbors Indonesia and Malaysia, having limited natural resources and limited space. Therefore, Singapore has built its further development mostly on innovation and digitization.
Singapore is one of the world's most densely populated micro states. Nearly six million inhabitants occupy an area of 720 square kilometers. Until 1965, Singapore was part of Malaysia, from which it became independent due to economic and racial tensions. However, they depend on Malaysia for most of their water and food consumption. Therefore, the Singapore government carefully monitors its citizens through modern technology to ensure that individuals do not harm the community. In return, it offers its citizens a high standard of living, excellent health care, services and safety thanks to the high degree of digitization. The Smart Nation Initiative took advantage of the high penetration of mobile phones (150%) and the connectivity of citizens and developed key strategic national projects for smart city Singapore.
1. National Digital Identity (NDI)
NDI is designed to serve citizens and business for safe and comfortable operations. The flagship of the NDI was SingPass which has gradually transformed into a digital identification system. It no longer enables an access to public services, but also cooperates with banks as it automatically fills-in forms. SingPass also cooperates with myResponder, which provides voluntary health services. If sudden health emergency occurs, the app notifies the nearest myResponder volunteer who quickly comes to help. The system responds to the reality of Singapore, and pedestrians can possibly reach the emergency situation faster than an ambulance. In the future, SingPass system is planned to be used to automatically fill in traffic information and to quickly access health data.
2. Electronic payments
Another important step in the initiative was to allow easy, fast and secure online payments. PayNow has been introduced in collaboration with Singapore banks to convert transactions onto a phone number. This project also initiated credit or debit card payments for public transport.
3. Smart Nation Sensor Platform
In this project, Singapore wants to make the most of sensors and other IoT devices. Street lamps should turn into sensors that would monitor situation around them including air temperature, wind speed, traffic, buildings temperature, shadows cast by buildings and even pedestrian faces. Face recognition software should increase street safety significantly. Needless to say, Singapore is already a very safe city, with more than 52,000 police security cameras that help prevent crime.
Moreover, Singapore plans to monitor water and electricity consumption per each household. On the basis of all the data collected, the government will have more precise information to take necessary measures.
4. Smart Mobility
Singapore is trying to bring new smart solutions to streamline public transport while limiting the use of cars. This attitude quite naturally led to various experiments that were supposed to function as a cheaper alternative to traditional car transport or to replace it completely. As a result, there are unlicensed taxis (Grab), autonomous cars (nuTonomy), bikesharing without locations (oBike, Ofo, Mobike) as well as electronic car sharing (BlueSG) in Singapore. Beeline app is another way to travel. User indicates where does he want to go and how much he is willing to pay for the trip. If there are multiple passengers interested in traveling, private bus operators such as GrabShuttle respond.
Singapore also seeks to use artificial intelligence to predict the traffic collapse caused by railway deterioration.
5. Moments of life
Moments of Life app integrates various state services into a tool that facilitates parents' upbringing. Right after giving birth, the mother can register her child via cellphone and then use various benefits offered by the state through the cellphone.
The city has become a smart city leader thanks to the cooperation of government, universities and private companies. Singapore massively supports innovation by investing 1% of its GDP in new technologies. Recently, the government of Singapore in cooperation with the NUS Enterprise and Telecommunications Company Singtel launched startup ecosystem Launchpad which includes 14 accelerators, 23 incubators, 439 startups and 15 investors.
Topics on innovation and smart cities will be discussed at the International ITAPA Congress 2019, which will take place on 12 and 13 November in Bratislava.