As the rate of urbanization accelerates around the globe, an increasing number of mega-cities are emerging. According to the United Nations, 70% of the world's population will be concentrated in cities by the year 2050—up from today's 50%. This will inevitably result in new social conflicts and problems, which will in turn increase our exposure to public safety issues, such as high crime rates, terrorist attacks, and the threat of other emergencies. Because of this, public safety has become a pressing issue for governments around the world as the cities in their jurisdiction continue to develop rapidly. How to best leverage cutting-edge technology to build Safe Cities is a challenge that all governments face together.
Currently, most public safety communication systems are being deployed, or have been deployed, in one or several domains, but many still operate in silos. So when emergency strikes, it is difficult to coordinate different systems efficiently. Technology, especially smart technology and broadband communications technology, can help resolve these issues more effectively. Well-designed ICT solutions can contribute to effective public safety management in cities, and allow them to develop more sustainably.
Today, many of the varied requirements that people have of society have become interconnected. A number of public services, such as power, water, and medical services—as well most basic economic activities—are intricate and complex. To address the challenges introduced by these complexities, a new approach to public safety management has to be adopted. The departments in charge of these services and infrastructure need to apply more proactive, smart technology to drive public safety, mitigating and managing an increasingly sophisticated landscape of public order and threats to public safety.
Smart Public Safety is characterized by using ICT to predict, prevent, and reduce crime; address new and emerging public safety threats; improve cross-jurisdiction emergency/disaster preparedness and response levels; reduce OPEX; and allocate resources more effectively. Today's public safety communications systems have been hugely affected by radical landscape changes in mobile and other network communications and collaboration technologies, cloud computing, Big Data, business intelligence, sensor and automation technology, and Internet of Things—not to mention a massive increase in the risk of cyber threats.
The key features of a Smart and Safe City solution are as follows:
(1) Flexible deployment and comprehensive protection:
Video surveillance is a key application for providing valuable data on roads, buildings, public areas, and accident scenes. It enables public safety agencies to monitor and manage relevant data, and possibly prevent incidents from occurring—or ensure that adequate support is deployed when they do. When crises or disasters overwhelm the existing infrastructure in an affected area, wireless video surveillance becomes increasingly important to provide first responders with access to images and crucial data as they need it.
(2) Convergent command, and rapid coordination:
When crises or disasters occur, chaos often follows. Effectively directing rescue operations requires improved responsiveness while maintaining tight control of all resources. Public service agencies need to integrate interventional measures throughout their entire crisis management process (mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery) to effectively deliver and coordinate emergency management services. In this case, a convenient command platform that supports rapid centralized command is of the utmost importance. Without any constraint on communication terminals or channel systems, the platform can help rapidly distribute and share crisis disaster information, save more people's lives, and minimize property loss.
(3) Efficient decision-making and mobile processing:
As most public safety communication systems still operate in silos, today's systems lack early warning, problem reporting, and information sharing capabilities, as well as network support of on-site command and effective methods of dispatch and command. Due to lack of information, there is poor support for real-time decision-making, as well as difficulties in cross-jurisdiction coordination.
As wireless broadband communications continue to mature, decision-making systems, information gathering systems, command and dispatching systems can be integrated into one central control center to support full-scale monitoring. This will enable public safety agencies to make informed decisions based on consolidated data.
In the public safety sector, Huawei focuses on ICT infrastructure and sticks to its pipe strategy. Huawei joined forces with Hexagon, a leading industry partner, to publish the industry's first Safe City solution that enables complete visualization of incident handling processes and comprehensive convergence of commands.
The Safe City solution seamlessly integrates eLTE broadband trunking, video surveillance, unified communications, and video conferencing systems with a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system to fully visualize command and dispatch. Leveraging an intelligent video analysis system powered by Big Data, the solution can quickly and precisely extract insight into incidents from massive volumes of video clips. This facilitates active prevention before incidents occur, quick response during incidents, and precise retrieval of relevant information after incidents in public areas.
Over the past 20 years, Huawei has been in a relentless pursuit of technological innovation to enrich people's lives through better communication. As a leading global provider of information technologies, Hexagon also provides state-of-the-art solutions for customers in domains like digital geosystems, geospatial city management solutions, and e-police.
Huawei's alliance with Hexagon in the public safety domain will not only drive joint technological innovation and integration, it will also leverage their strengths in market development to spread the latest solutions around the world, serve more cities and people, and build a Better Connected World together.