HCMC operation center for smart city to operate this April

An Intelligent Operation Center (IOC) is one of the four pillars in the project of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) to transform itself into a smart city. It consists of two groups, the first of which will receive, coordinate, and monitor the image processing stage while the second is the information center to summarize and report data for the administration task. Both groups are closely linked in the infrastructure and expected to begin working at the end of this April.

When IOC is in operation, public monitoring cameras will be linked to the system. Photo by T.Ba

When IOC is in operation, public monitoring cameras will be linked to the system. Photo by T.Ba

According to Mr. Le Quoc Cuong, Deputy Director of the HCMC Department of Information and Communications, a newly built center to receive and process emergency information (ERC) will be formed to integrate data from the current 113-114-115 hotlines and the monitoring camera systems installed in the city. This ERC will be the most important part of IOC.

To aid the first group, there are now the 1022 hotline, the Emergency Response Center, and the Media Management Center.

IOC can monitor the stage of receiving, coordinating, and processing emergency information of ERC. Simultaneously, it can support ERC via the camera systems and indices provided by on-site sensors, along with data domain-specific operation centers.

Comprehensive information, related reports, and the real quantity of emergencies are all automatically monitored by IOC.

“Besides the urban infrastructure, IOC’s 1022 hotline will receive and handle residents’ requests and inquiries on public administrative tasks, traffic congestion, policy violation regarding the environment, urban security, and even state officer’s behaviors. This hotline can also collect suggestions of citizens. After being categorized, these pieces of information will be transferred to related units. The 1022 hotline is supported by a system to manage images captured by monitoring cameras installed around the city”, said Mr. Cuong.

In IOC, the media department is responsible for connecting and popularizing information or data on urban activities via various media means like open data platform, newspaper, television, radio broadcast. This department is also accountable for interactions with the public, including collecting opinions of the citizens and businesses on the Internet, normally in social networks. This is to closely monitor the information flow, timely deliver warnings to the public, and prepare precise reports to the metropolitan leaders.

Mr. Cuong shared that basically the construction and connection among various departments in this first group is done. However, he added that the Media Management Center has not been linked yet since it is managed by another unit, but the connection will soon be made to finish the overall plan.

The second group is an information center, consisting of reports on the economy, public security, traffic, healthcare, urban flood prevention, environment, education, and public administrative tasks. In this group, critical operation information in the fields of e-government, education, healthcare, urban planning, economy and finance is constantly monitored via operation and evaluation indices.

The group is also responsible for summarizing and reporting necessary details to the city leaders. It can describe the general state of different domains in the city, the operation status of these domains, and the insight evaluation of each index in state units. It can also deliver integrated analysis and prediction or warning based on collected data.

The data in this second group is considered as closed one, meaning all information on economy, public security, traffic, healthcare, urban flood prevention, environment, education, and public administrative tasks is closely linked and displayed at the information center to timely provide warning when emergencies happen.

Until now, the information center is connected to reports on traffic, environment, and public administration. The others have not been successfully linked yet.

In order for the project ‘Transforming HCMC into Smart City in the Period from 2017 – 2020, with Vision to 2025’ to achieve its goals, the task of predicting developments and managing different urban domains is critical so that precise and timely decisions can be made.

To do this, the city needs to collect and then analyze a large amount of data from various fields continuously, hence the vital role of this information center.

“Since IOC is supposed to begin its operation at the end of this April, we are trying our best to finish any remaining jobs and successfully create the planned links in accordance with the request from the HCMC People’s Committee”, said Mr. Cuong.

In related news, the HCMC Department of Information and Communications has just announced that it received a proposal from a business to finance the equipment rent and software development to pilot HCMC’s IOC during 12 months.

The mentioned business will integrate a part of the current camera systems owned by the Management Center of Saigon Tunnel (MCST), local districts; display information on a digital map; add advanced image processing functions (face recognition, behavior analysis, traffic volume calculation) for the monitoring camera systems; integrate urban infrastructure issues, public administrative tasks into current operation systems in HCMC; develop an app for smart devices; and provide information for the municipal leaders when needed.

This proposal is highly appreciated since it suits the aims of building IOC while not touching the national budget.

By PHUONG UYEN – BA TAN – Translated by Tuan Lu

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