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Work on HK’s Multi-Functional Smart Lampposts to Continue

Technical Advisory Ad Hoc Committee for Hong Kong Multi Functional Smart Lampposts
Image Credits: OGCIO, Press Release

The Technical Advisory Ad Hoc Committee for Hong Kong’s multi-functional smart lampposts held its fifth meeting today.

Members reached a consensus at the meeting that while the Government should continue with the smart lamppost project for smart city development in Hong Kong, cameras on the smart lampposts should be replaced by other technology solutions.

Hong Kong’s Government Chief Information Officer, who is also the Convenor of the Committee stated that, so far, five meetings have been held over the last few months to review in detail the functions and technologies employed in smart lampposts as well as to make recommendations in response to public concerns over privacy.

The Committee unanimously agreed that replacement technology solutions for cameras, such as LIDAR and thermal detectors, should be adopted to enlist wider community support for smart lampposts as well as smart city development.

The Committee agreed that the Government should continue with the smart lamppost project after taking out cameras, especially given the rollout of the fifth-generation mobile service in the near future.

To avoid lagging behind, Hong Kong must catch up at full steam in smart city development. The city will also continue to open up city data collected by smart lampposts to drive smart city development.

The original design of smart lampposts included panoramic cameras which aim to collect real-time traffic data and traffic snapshot images and surveillance cameras which aim to monitor traffic conditions and tackle illegal dumping of construction waste.

The Committee proposed that each and every new smart device to be installed on smart lampposts in future should go through a third-party review and assessment to ensure compliance with international privacy and security standards (ISO 27000 series).

The Committee also suggested that the Government enhance public education and promotion on smart lampposts. As always, the Government will only commence installation of new devices after consulting relevant stakeholders, including the Legislative Council and concerned District Councils.

Members also received briefings by officers of the Environmental Protection Department, the Lands Department and the Transport Department on replacement technology solutions to individual applications on smart lampposts and related privacy protection measures in the light of members’ suggestions.

Consensus reached by the Committee will be included in the Committee report. The discussion papers for the Committee will be uploaded onto the Multi-functional Smart Lampposts thematic webpage. It is expected that the Committee will submit a detailed report to the Government in February 2020.

The Multi-Functional Smart Lampposts Pilot Scheme

The Multi-functional Smart Lampposts pilot scheme is a three-year programme in which some 400 smart lampposts will be installed in phases in four districts with higher pedestrian and traffic flow, namely Central/Admiralty, Causeway Bay/Wan Chai, Tsim Sha Tsui and Kwun Tong/Kai Tak Development Area.

The aim is to promote smart city development in Hong Kong and support 5G mobile network implementation.

Since the end of June 2019, 50 smart lampposts have been put in place on Sheung Yuet Road in Kowloon Bay, Shing Kai Road in Kai Tak and in the Kwun Tong city centre to collect various types of real-time city data such as meteorological data, air quality data and traffic flow.

The data collected will be released to the public as open data for the development of innovative applications. In addition, the government has also released a list of the locations, functions and equipment of the smart lampposts which have been installed. The aim is to enable the public to have a better and objective understanding of the functions and applications of the smart lampposts.

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