Banpu NEXT and partners bring new progress Phuket smart city development, using Smart Data Analytics to raise safety standards regarding COVID-19, crimes and environmental threats

The development is piloted in two strategic locations and highlights Thailand’s first smart community platform.

Phuket – Banpu NEXT has teamed up with four partners— ‘Phuket City Municipality’, ‘Rawai Municipality’, ‘Phuket Old Town Community’ and ‘PLANET’—to drive forward the first phase of Phuket smart city development with “Phuket Livable City, Smart and Safe” project. By integrating Smart Data Analytics solution, this new move is upgrading the safety standards of life in the new normal in three key areas: epidemic diseases such as COVID-19, crimes, and environmental threats. Complete safety systems including hardware and software have been installed with coverage of two pilot neighborhoods, namely Thalang Road connecting Rommanee Alley, and Rawai Sub-district (Municipality Office and Promthep Cape). It is the first development in Thailand that uses an AI-driven smart community platform and application for data collection, analysis and processing to give community residents and visitors a better peace of mind with regard to safety. Moreover, other solutions will be introduced to enrich Phuket as a model city with multidimensional perfection in terms of smart city development.

Mrs. Somruedee Chaimongkol, Chief Executive Officer of Banpu PCL. and Banpu NEXT Co., Ltd., said,
“In 2021, Banpu NEXT as a subsidiary of Banpu PCL. continues to operate under our ‘Greener & Smarter’ strategy. Using our extensive expertise in clean energy solution, we have developed ‘Five Smart Energy Solutions’, namely Smart Energy Analytics, Smart Energy Generation, Smart Energy Storage, Smart Energy Utilization and Smart Circular Economy to enable multisectoral contribution to tangible results of the country’s smart city development. We previously started off by introducing ‘Smart Energy Utilization Solution’ to e-Ferries and charging stations for marine tourism in Phuket. More recently, we have partnered with government and private organizations as well as local communities in a major project called ‘Phuket Livable City, Smart and Safe’ that uses our ‘Smart Data Analytics Solution’ to analyze data of two project locations and design safety systems that address the issues of each. The system installation including hardware, software and IoT-based operating system was performed by PLANET.”

“Along with these, smart community platform and application software developed for the first time in Thailand by Banpu NEXT were integrated into this smart city development. This platform can connect with operating systems of other devices and work together efficiently across data collection, analysis and processing using AI technology, with the data sent to the municipal officials’ war room for operational efficiency and ability of the officials to perform accurate planning and prevention in different scenarios. The smart community app allows the officials to view system devices for 24/7 monitoring, inspection and proper control from anywhere.

These safety systems will also increase COVID-19 monitoring and control efficiency based on social distancing measure with five capabilities: 1) people counter to limit visitor traffic; 2) occupancy density monitoring; 3) body temperature screening; 4) non-masker detection; and 5) preliminary timeline analysis of visitors and inspection of COVID-19 suspects. The officials can use the application to track all the data, send out real-time notifications if any risk is found, and report situations to the war room for situation control in due time.”

Mr. Prapat Rathlertkarn, Chief Executive Officer of Planet Communications Asia PCL., added,
“As an integrated provider of telecommunication technology solutions, PLANET enables digital transformation of organizations to equip them with greater tech-driven business capabilities. We are pleased to serve as the hardware installation partner of this project. Banpu NEXT has designed the solution excellently, which allowed us to choose advanced hardware that meet the functionality requirements completely. The safety systems installed include 1) contactless COVID-19 screening sensors with high-precision body temperature measurement; 2) smart surveillance stations, comprising of closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras for surveillance of monitored places and detection of people in the war room’s database, people counter with AI technology, alert and notification system, suspicious object detectors, people tracking with face recognition technology, public address system and 24/7 SOS system using cloud technology; 3) air quality monitoring stations with measurement of air temperature, PM2.5 and humidity; and 4) smart parking sensors with parking location detection technology and real-time sensors. An IoT-based operating system is also used for system control and to collect data from devices and send them to Banpu NEXT’s platform for further data processing.”

Ms. Somjai Suwansupana, Mayor of Phuket City Municipality, revealed, “Phuket City Municipality strives to make Phuket a model city for public safety management with extensive protection against crimes, environmental threats and epidemic diseases. To pave way for this, we have consistently worked with local communities and private sector with a belief that safety is a cornerstone of well-being for local people and tourists. Moreover, we are trying to make Phuket much more livable and bring added economic value to it. We have therefore piloted the system installation along Thalang Road and Rommanee Alley as an important old town neighborhood with historic and tourism appeals. The solution from Banpu NEXT will enable us to inspect individuals, control visitor traffic and limit occupancy density in this area in alignment with the social distancing measure. In addition, non-maskers and suspicious objects entering the area can be detected whereas smart parking sensors will enable tidier parking and ease road traffic in this zone, which previously suffered a lot of parking violations.”

Mr. Aroon Solos , Mayor of Rawai Municipality, said, “Rawai is a seaside town known globally for scenic beauty of Promthep Cape that attracts a lot of Thai and international tourists. Our municipality wishes to create even better environment and facilities, with safety as a top priority. The smart surveillance and air quality monitoring stations at Promthep Cape enrich the development of Rawai Beach and surrounding areas, making them tidier and meet higher safety expectations of a tourist attraction. These systems will also help us monitor tourists to this scenic viewpoint to keep the occupancy level suitable and prevent accidents that could happen due to the site’s steep mountainside landscape. Additionally, COVID-19 screening points have been installed at our Municipality Office. We believe that the systems installed by Banpu NEXT will raise the tourism standards, giving our tourists a stronger confidence to be here and help spur local economy while providing a relief to COVID-19 concerns.”

“These safety systems coincide with smart governance, smart environment, smart economy, smart living and smart mobility aspects of smart city development. All the systems have already become active. We will continue to introduce other Smart Energy solutions complete with one-stop services at reasonable prices to Phuket in contribution to its development into a full-grown smart city. With Phuket positioned as our model project for full-fledge smart city development, we will extend the use of these solutions and platforms to other smart cities in the future,” Mrs. Somruedee concluded.