Drones are now becoming essential tools in the fight against the new Coronavirus outbreak in China. People are using drones to carry out tasks like spraying disinfectant over villages, dispersing public gatherings and facilitating construction.
Drones could dramatically improve how China attempts to kill the virus in public areas. They can cover far more ground than traditional methods, while reducing risk to workers who would otherwise spend more time potentially exposed to both the virus and the disinfectant.
Monitoring Public Gatherings and Keep Public Informed
Local governments are mounting speakers on small drones to disperse public gatherings. They have also been used to warn people regarding quarantine curfews or if they are seen out in public without wearing a mask. Drones have also flew banners to educate people on how to take the necessary precautions.
Thermal cameras on drones were also used to monitor body temperatures so medical staff can identify new potential cases. In Shanghai, drones have been deployed on city roads for monitoring while officials check travellers’ temperatures.
To contain the spread of the virus, drones are also used to monitor activities such as traffic and waste disposal. In Zhongshan, drones are used to oversee the disposal of medical waste coming out of hospitals.
People across China are mounting disinfectant tools on their crop-spraying drones. Drones are being used in Chinese villages also to spray disinfectant throughout their villages to help fight the spread of the virus.
Lighting drones were used in Wuhan when two large temporary hospitals had to be built in a matter of days as the city ran out of beds in the hospitals. Without the street lamps and construction lights at the site, six large lighting drones hovered above the ground so that the construction workers could work 24 hours a day to get it completed in record time.
Another use for drones is Drone delivery. The outbreak has kept millions of families in their homes to avoid contact with others. Contactless delivery would be a huge help to these households that have been quarantined. Organisations can send food, supplies and medicine to anyone in need. At the same time, avoiding face-to-face contact will cut the risk of infection.
This crisis has created an opportunity to discover new ways of using drones to curb the spread of Covid-19 not only in China but globally.
An incubatee at the Hong Kong Smart Government Innovation Lab recently announced that their latest solution is now ready to be acquired by companies and institutions.
With the development and general application of Video Analytics Technology, smart parking solutions are not bound only to License Plate Recognition and Ticketless functions anymore.
The following systems and features of the solution are also designed by the company to cater to the growing needs of its clients, deriving from the application of Video Analytics Technology:
- Auto-Classification of Vehicle Type for fee-calculation or restriction: the solution can detect the car type, brand and model for different rate structures. It eliminates the need for a separate ticket unit for lorries and is especially suitable for car parks with loading bays and private car bays.
- Dynamic Rate Structure on Bay Location: Different rates can be applied for bays at different locations via video monitoring cameras. Drivers, who are willing to pay more or are in a rush, can park at bays with better locations at higher rates. Thus, bay allocations can be more efficiently managed.
- Bay-Counting function for Motorcycles: Motorcyclists can be informed of the floors with the most spaces on entry. Until recently, this function was, technically, almost unachievable with just sensors for detection in the past.
- Outdoor Parking Space Monitoring/Counting: This feature helps achieve the function of Bay Guidance for outdoor car parks. It is much more cost-effective than installing a sensor on every single bay for detection.
- Loading Bay Barrier-less Monitoring and Charging Function: this feature helps to overcome the general pain point of installing a barrier system for a loading bay for rate calculation and payment.
- Smart Bay Guidance Signage for EV Cars: EV Cars can be directed to the nearest and available bays with EV chargers, highly reducing congestion issues in car parks as well as enhancing user experiences and convenience.
- Mobile Parking Fee Payment via License Plate or Octopus Number: The issues of insufficient remaining values for Octopus Cards at the exit are reduced. This greatly eases the issue of queues at the exit. Vehicles with no outstanding payment can be allowed to leave by detection of the License Plate.
The service pledges for this solution include:
- 98% or above for License Plate Recognition Accuracy Rate
- Provisions of two LPR/Video Cameras per lane at different locations
- Expertise in camera location selection
- Provision of progressive training on OCR engine and Deep Learning capability
- Provision of high-quality preventive maintenance service to the system
The solution can be applied across the areas of City Management, Development, Population and Transport.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud Computing, Deep Learning, Internet of Things (IoT), Mobile Technologies and Video Analytics are the technologies employed in the solution.
Benefits of the solution include:
- Higher throughput rate for car parks
- Less congestion and queue at entrances and exits
- Effective and fair allocation of car park spaces for public
- Greater automation enables for more efficient management of manpower
- All-rounded Car Park Management Level
- Allows remote control of multiple car parks at a centralized location
- Higher public experience and convenience levels
- Integration with other Smart Solutions
- Data generation for further analysis of service improvement
- More environmentally friendly with fewer requirements on mechanical devices and cables
- Suitable for environments with different conditions
- In-line development with market trend
The NSW Department of Customer Service (NSW DCS) has appointed a company that provides electronic data interchange (EDI) services for businesses to implement a sustainable e-invoicing solution that streamlines the payment experience for suppliers.
E-invoicing provides faster payments and automates the procure-to-pay process, providing many benefits for DCS and suppliers.
NSW DCS encompasses more than 30 different agencies, entities and business units, with excellent customer service a key goal across the organisation. DCS provides digital leadership and innovation in government services that align with the NSW Digital Government Strategy.
The e-invoicing was implemented using a Peppol-certified access point for NSW DCS, by creating a dedicated gateway on the deployed cloud service that connects to the SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) system at NSW DCS.
In this gateway, the workflows and business rules have been applied to NSW DCS’s needs, to enable invoice data to be received correctly.
The technology flags any errors with NSW DCS staff and its suppliers. It has also established connections to accounting software used by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), so suppliers can send e-invoices.
The NSW Digital Government Strategy offers digital services that benefit customers and suppliers. E-invoicing is a streamlined system that enables DCS to pay suppliers within the government-stipulated five-day turnaround period. It is also more affordable for DCS and suppliers, as processing an invoice costs less than $10.
The company was chosen as it met assessment criteria based on functionality and price and offered support and expertise.
It was also able to meet DCS strategic expectations to provide end-to-end automation to the procure-to-pay (P2P) cycle, to scale up throughout all areas of government.
The e-invoicing solution, DCS can pay invoices faster and help its suppliers maintain cashflow. The proprietary Access Point processes these e-invoices securely and accurately, reassuring DCS that its data and supplier information is secure.
It was noted that e-invoicing can make processing and sending invoices faster, more accurate and less expensive for organisations of all sizes, including government departments and private businesses.
The initial pilot was carried out in October 2019; phase one of the project started in January 2020 and went live in March, with phase two currently underway.
About the NSW Digital Government Strategy
The NSW Digital Government Strategy represents a vision for ICT reform and cultural change within the NSW Government.
The former ICT Strategy series provided a strong foundation which the government has built upon in consultation with industry partners and across government. The aim is to extend this to a partnership with the community.
The new Strategy is just an upgrade; it provides the backbone for the delivery of next-level, improved, user-centric services. It will ensure that the NSW Government is connected, customer-focussed and outcomes-driven.
Amongst other things, the NSW Public service will:
- use digital ways of conducting business where they were previously prohibited by outdated legislation
- co-design services with customers (taking into consideration expectations around the protection of privacy) and develop technology solutions in partnership with industry
- adopt a digital-by-default starting point when designing or reviewing new and existing policies • partner with industry focussing on technology solutions with a whole of government perspective
- experiment and be innovative in the use of new and game-changing technologies that have the potential to drive better service outcomes
- demonstrate how they are using data to inform decision making, including around investments
- optimise the sharing and use of data through the NSW Data Ecosystem, using real-time data and user-friendly formats for publishing
- use predictive analytics to drive better outcomes across the sector. The NSW Government is committed to exploring and implementing new and innovative ways of doing things, to achieve the best outcomes for the people of NSW.
New Zealand has been recognised internationally throughout the pandemic for efforts in fighting COVID19, and in particular, it has been recognised for its’ impressive leadership from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
The PM has notably put the health and safety of New Zealand citizens first and foremost. She has communicated transparently and effectively with the people and has built trust and gained their confidence through her actions.
Jacinda Ardern’s leadership style, focused on empathy, isn’t just resonating with her people; it has put the country on track for success against the coronavirus.
The country has a population of around 5 million people, yet New Zealand only recorded 1,219 infections and 22 deaths so far during the pandemic. These are dramatically lower than many other countries that are still grappling with thousands of deaths.
Being Proactive – Taking Precautionary Measures Early in a Pandemic
New Zealand government also took decisive action right away, planning for a possible outbreak began intensively on January 24, 2 days after the WHO reported evidence of human-to-human transmission in Wuhan.
New Zealand’s Ministry of Health established an incident management team and advised the public that while the risk to New Zealand was assessed as low, the Ministry was taking the outbreak very seriously.
New Zealand imposed a national lockdown much earlier in its outbreak than other countries did in theirs, and banned travellers from China in early February, before New Zealand had registered a single case of the virus. It closed its borders to all non-residents in mid-March, when it had only a handful of cases.
Swift Lockdown Action after 102 days without local infection
Just yesterday New Zealand put its largest city back into lockdown after recording four new Covid-19 cases, ending a 102-day streak without a local infection.
A three-day lockdown was swiftly imposed in Auckland after the cases were confirmed. The four new cases are all members of a single family. None had travelled recently.
The restrictions will came into effect on Wednesday, as authorities track and trace contacts of the family. Auckland residents will be asked to stay at home, large gatherings will be banned, non-essential businesses will be shut, and some social-distancing restrictions will be reintroduced in the rest of the country.
The importance of open communication between government and citizen in crisis management
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s response to the pandemic back on March 21 was bold and garnered public support.
That day, Ardern delivered a televised statement to the nation announcing a four-level Covid-19 alert system.
Modelled on fire risk systems already in use in New Zealand, this familiar approach set clear guidelines for how the government would step up its response — and what would be asked of citizens as infection rates grew.
Prime Minister Ardern’s communication has been clear, honest, and compassionate. It has acknowledged the daily sacrifices to come and inspired people to forge ahead bringing them together.
She has spent a lot of time reassuring people during the lockdown with daily briefings and a message that resonates: “Go hard and go early.”
Pandemic demands transformative, collective action from Government and its people
Prime Minister Ardern has established a shared sense of purpose amongst the government and citizens.
Key leadership practices which are leading to New Zealand’s success is the government’s willingness to let themselves be led by expertise, its efforts to mobilise the population, and to enable coping, all of which leads to increased trust in leadership which is needed for transformative, collective action such as the pandemic demands.
According to a press release by the Ministry of Information and Communications, database sharing between management agencies at both central and local levels is key to the process of developing e-government. MIC is compiling an e-government development strategy, which serves as a pillar in Vietnam’s socio-economic development model.
Under the draft strategy, which has been made public for comments, the development of e-government will be associated with the process of digital transformation, smart urban development, and ensuring network safety and security. Accordingly, all operations of state management will be digitalised to lead the national digitalisation process.
Citizens and enterprises will be the centre of the digitalisation process, which will aim at improving transparency, simplifying administrative procedures, and creating convenience when accessing public services. The most important thing was developing a database system and data sharing mechanism between state management agencies, according to the Ministry’s Authority of Information Technology Application.
The strategy aims to link the development of e-government with Vietnamese digital technology enterprises that have core technologies and open platforms to serve digital government services. Notably, enterprises could participate in providing public administrative services.
By 2025, 100% of national databases to serve e-government, including the database about population, land, business registration, finance, and insurance, are hoped to be completed, connected, and shared on a nationwide scale.
A representative from Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group said it was important to develop databases and data sharing to launch the digital government services. It was also necessary to carry out reviews on the process of transition from paper-based to digital and develop procedures for digital government services.
According to the United Nations’ recent report themed ‘Digital Government in the Decade of Action for Sustainable Development’, Vietnam ranked 86 out of 193 countries in the e-government development index, moving up two spots from 2018. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved the list of members of the National Committee on e-government, which came into effect on 30 July. The PM chaired the committee.
The committee is in charge of studying and proposing policies, strategies and mechanisms to create a legal framework for the development of e-government towards a digital government, digital economy and digital society to create favourable conditions for implementing Industry 4.0 in the country.
The Vietnam Internet Network Information Center (VNNIC) recently kicked off a course for the first 34 personnel chosen for a program on training 500 experts on internet protocol version 6 (IPv6). The advanced program, lasting from 2020 to 2025, targets technicians of IT units under ministries and public sectors and aims to support public agencies in completely switching from IPv4 to IPv6 in 2025.
According to research, internet connections using IPv6 are 1.4 times faster than IPv4. Vietnam’s internet has been upgraded to operate well on IPv6, in preparation for the country’ e-government development and national digital transition. As of June, it was ranked 10th globally in IPv6 adoption, with more than 36 million users.
To drive the development of the National Automotive Policy 2020 (NAP2020), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Automotive Institutions, Robotics and Lot Malaysia (MARii) announced that they are collaborating on developing new generation vehicles (NxGV). Specifically, they will be looking into re-manufacturing and recycling and intelligent manufacturing technology (smart manufacturing) through a variety of research and development (R&D).
One of the projects carried out includes the development and commercialization of electric car (EV) batteries, supported by Research and Development efforts by both parties focusing on battery performance, battery replication, lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery production development and more.
The Vice-Chancellor of UKM stated that the signing of the MoU showed closer cooperation between the two institutions in enhancing technological capabilities. It is hoped that the emergence of the digital economy in the Industrial 4.0 landscape will drive more sustainable innovation in various domain applications for the benefit of the government, organizations, and all citizens.
This innovation can be further utilized to change the way Malaysians live and work, creating an inclusive digital society with the same goal, which will not only generate wealth for better well-being but also bring peace and prosperity to the world, the academic stated while delivering a speech at the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UKM and MARii, in Cyberjaya recently.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of MARii noted that the collaboration will complete the network of strategic expertise needed to implement projects related to research and development of basic materials for the manufacture of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, cybersecurity and digitization in the mobility sector.
These projects will add value to the development of NxGV, Maas and IR4.0, in line with NAP2020. This collaboration will also be able to show the development of a special network for Reverse Logistics, which includes the process of collection, recycling and end-of-life vehicle (ELV).
The Smart Data Initiative will also be implemented and focuses on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the manufacturing process. The aim is to push forward Smart Manufacturing in Malaysia. With Industry 4.0 technology, the project will focus on cybersecurity methods that use various techniques to protect data and resources.
About Malaysia’s National Automotive Policy 2020
The National Automotive Policy 2020 (NAP2020) is expected to contribute RM104.2 billion to Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) over the next 10 years, an earlier article by OpenGov Asia noted. The forecasted contribution is in line with its projection of total production volume of 1.47 million vehicles and total industry volume of 1.22 million vehicles by 2030.
The overall intended outcomes of the NAP2020 are an increase in research of new technologies; the creation of business and job opportunities, particularly for small and medium enterprises (SMEs); and the development of new manufacturing processes and value chains within the local automotive and overall automobile sector. The NAP2020 will further enhance the Malaysian automotive sector by transforming it into connected mobility.
The element of technology such as Next Generation Vehicle (NxGV), mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) and Industrial Revolution 4.0 are in line with disruptive trends that have emerged in global markets, the Minister stated.
The NAP2020 is a holistic policy that covers the comprehensive development of industry capacities including supply chain, human capital, indigenous technology, aftermarket, exports, infrastructure readiness, standards and regulations. The NAP2020 will focus on the development of ecosystems for the NxGV, MaaS and Industry 4.0 technologies while continuing its focus on enhancing the development of Energy Efficient Vehicles.
The policy entails the National Roadmap Automotive for the mobility value chain, technology, mobility talent, aftermarket and National Blueprint Automotive for mobility as a service, robotics and IoT. It also envisions driving a policy that focuses on connected mobility, while enhancing Malaysia’s automotive industry in the era of digital industrial transformation.
The NAP2020’s vision includes integrating supply chains, local manufacturing, engineering capabilities, the latest technology trends, and sustainable development.
The Minister of Electronics, Information Technology, and Communications, Ravi Shankar Prasad, announced that the government is working to provide connectivity in the far-flung, remote, border areas of strategic importance, to ensure a better quality of life.
The country’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, inaugurated the 2300km-long submarine optical fibre cable, between Chennai and Andaman and Nicobar at a virtual event earlier this week.
In his speech, the Prime Minister said that the cable will help Andaman and Nicobar get cheaper and better connectivity and all the benefits of the Digital India initiative, especially in improving online education, telemedicine, banking systems, online trading, and to boost tourism.
The Indian Ocean has been the centre of India’s trade and strategic prowess for thousands of years and Andaman and Nicobar are an important centre for India’s economic-strategic cooperation.
The Islands of India play an important role in India’s new trade strategy for the Indo-Pacific region.
Under the Act-East policy, the role of Andaman and Nicobar in India’s strong relations with East Asian countries and other countries connected to the sea is high and will increase; the Island Development Agency was formed three years ago to strengthen its role. The projects which were not completed in Andaman and Nicobar for years are being completed now.
High-impact projects are expanding in 12 islands of Andaman and Nicobar. Apart from providing better internet and mobile connectivity, the government aims to further improve physical connectivity through road, air, and water.
The Prime Minister referred to the work on two major bridges and the NH-4 to improve the road connectivity of North and Middle Andaman. He said the Port Blair Airport is being enhanced to handle a capacity of 1,200 passengers. Along with this, the airports are ready for operations in Diglipur, Car Nicobar, and Campbell-Bay.
According to a press release, Prasad spoke about the various projects being implemented by the Department of Telecommunications to provide connectivity in remote and difficult areas.
He said that a tender for 354 uncovered villages in the strategic, remote, and border areas of the country has been finalised and is under implementation in 144 villages of the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh.
Villages in Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttrakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and other priority areas of Gujarat have been strategically selected to cover border area connectivity on mobiles.
After the commissioning of these villages, there will be no uncovered villages in J&K and Ladakh for mobile connectivity. Satellite-based Digital Satellite Phone Terminals (DSPTs) are also being provided at 1,347 sites for Army, BRO, BSF, CRPF, ITBP, and SSB use. 183 sites are already commissioned; the remaining are in process.
The Minister added that the Department of Telecommunications is also working on providing mobile connectivity in villages of 24 Aspirational districts of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh.
The remaining 44 Aspirational Districts for 7287 uncovered villages in Chhatisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, and Andhra Pradesh will also be covered, for which government approval is under submission.
The Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Institute of Technology (PTIT) and the Indian Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) signed an addendum to the agreement on the establishment of a Centre for Software Development and Training in Vietnam, last week.
Ambassador of the Republic of India to Vietnam, Pranay Verma, and President of PTIT, Vu Van San, signed the deal in Hanoi yesterday.
Under the agreement, CDAC will provide non-refundable aid of US$ 1.08 million from the ASEAN-India cooperation fund to set up a modern information and communication technology (ICT) centre in order to provide advanced IT training, online classes and e-learning at PTIT in Ho Chi Minh City.
The centre will be recognised as an authorised CDAC training centre for two years. The CDAC will send two experts to the centre in Vietnam to support its operations for six months. The centre will provide IT training courses according to the framework and standards of the CDAC’s advanced informatics training schools to improve capacity for local industries and remove digital gaps.
CDAC is a premier research and development organisation under the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) that carries out research in IT, electronics, and associated areas.
CDAC has successfully implemented 40 projects to establish ICT centres in many countries around the world.
The project in Ho Chi Minh City is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
According to an expert from the Indian ICT industry, Vietnam holds tremendous potential for IT development thanks to its young and talented human resources and attractive investment climate, thereby becoming one of the brightest investment destinations for Indian firms.
He stated this during a virtual seminar on Vietnam’s key macroeconomic policies to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and potential sectors for long-term investors held by the Vietnamese Embassy in India.
The event drew the participation of about 100 businesses, investors, experts, and scholars of the two countries.
At the event, Vietnamese delegates updated their Indian counterparts about the Vietnamese government’s policies in the context of COVID-19 and potential sectors for investment, stressing that the country has become a bright spot in both economic recovery and fighting the pandemic.
With an open economy and favourable business climate, Vietnam boasts the potential to become of the nations with the fastest economic growth in the world in the post-pandemic period.
The number of Indian companies invested in Vietnam’s IT field, standing at only 23 so far, has yet to match the potential of the sector and the cooperation potential between the two countries.
An Indian tech company is working on a major investment plan worth hundreds of millions of dollars in Vietnam, which may employ 8,000 people in the upcoming fiscal year, especially in the software and service sectors. It also eyes the establishment of one of its largest hubs in Southeast Asia in Vietnam.