04 Mar 2021

Seven New Zealand projects shortlisted in IDC's Asia Pacific Smart Cities Awards

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, March 4, 2021 – IDC Asia Pacific today announced that seven New Zealand projects have been shortlisted as finalists in the 2020 IDC Asia Pacific Smart Cities Awards (SCAPA). The annual awards highlight and acknowledge outstanding smart city initiatives in the Asia Pacific region and this year reached new heights receiving over 260 smart city initiatives from the public sector and technology suppliers from across the region, with only 70 of these projects being named as finalists across 14 functional eService Categories. The Awards are now in the public voting phase and voting for the deserving finalists will be open only until 17 March 2021 at www.idc.com/ap/smartcities.

Auckland Transport is leading the nominations with three projects, one a collaboration with Spark. Other shortlisted finalists include Christchurch City Council, Auckland District Health Board, The Office for Seniors, Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa, 20/20 Trust and Countdown.

Auckland Transport have three projects nominated in this year’s Awards. Their Automated Transit Lane Enforcement project is nominated for Transportation – Transport Infrastructure and their Rapid Response to the Lockdown’s Transport Challenges project is a finalist for Transportation - Connected & Autonomous Vehicles, Public Transit, Ride-Hailing / Ride-Sharing,

Auckland Transport collaborated with Spark for their Smart Street Pilot project which measures, and assesses the benefits of current and future technology solutions within cities and is nominated in the Sustainable Infrastructure category,

Auckland District Health Board have been nominated for their Auckland Hospital Digital Twin project assisting with resource management and increasing efficiency within the Smart Buildings/Smart Tech Parks category,

2020 SCAPA winner, Christchurch City Council is a finalist for this year’s Civic Engagement category for their SmartView project communicating data collected from around the city,

The Digital Literacy Training for Seniors project is a collaborative effort helping to close the digital divide initiated by The Office for Seniors, Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa and the 20/20 Trust and is a finalist in Education,

Countdown is a finalist for the Economic Development, Tourism, Arts, Libraries, Culture, Open Spaces category with their Scan & Go project assisting customers with contactless payments in supermarkets.

Louise Francis, IDC New Zealand Country Manager and ANZ Research Director, says given the nature of the competition that New Zealand projects are up against across the Asia Pacific region, the results are especially impressive. “For New Zealand to have seven projects that stand out on the regional stage is a noteworthy achievement. New Zealand has consistently excelled in the six years that these awards have been running, establishing itself as a recognised leader in Smart City innovation.”

Project Outlines:

Automated Transit Lane Enforcement - Auckland Transport

Auckland Transport’s (AT) role is to provide a safe and efficient transportation network that keeps people and freight moving. The demand for transport in Auckland keeps growing but the capacity of roads is constrained by the roadway space available. The implementation of dedicated lanes for buses and cars with more than two people (transit lane), allowed for the transportation of more people by encouraging public transport use and car-pooling. However, the compliance monitoring of the lanes was manual and labor-intensive.

To address these challenges, AT developed an in-house solution which enables remote monitoring and the automation of enforcement for transit lanes using CCTV technology and AT’s Computer Vision platform. The solution is a self-contained relocatable unit with highly specified cameras that integrates with AT’s Computer Vision system which together, allow AT to determine if an infringement fee should be issued.

Rapid Digital Response to COVID-19 Lockdown Transport Challenges - Auckland Transport

To manage COVID-19 in 2020, the New Zealand government announced a lockdown where only essential travel was permitted. It was up to Auckland Transport (AT) to continue their operations whilst keeping their passengers and staff safe. To address this, AT reduced their services and added safety measures such as a reduced number of passengers and staff onboard and social distancing of at least 2 meters apart. Passengers were then eager to know whether there was enough room for them before taking any of the transport services available. With their AT Mobile platform, AT was able to provide support by adding information such as live-views of available space on AT services. On day 1 of the lockdown, AT released a first version that incorporated the occupancy information for their buses. After 10 days of lockdown, AT added a train real-time passenger count that utilizes the train’s sensor doors. They also added this information to screens at bus stops, rail stations, and rail platforms and even incorporated this to audio announcements. All these features were developed and deployed over a period of just four months using two existing product development teams.

Smart Street Pilot - Auckland Transport & Spark

As Auckland continues to be New Zealand’s fastest-growing region, many challenges arise such as increased pollution, overcrowding and the need for additional public safety measures. To support this growth, Auckland Transport is focused on providing connected and accessible ways for travel, which led to the “Digital Street” trial. This project is designed to define, measure, and assess the benefits of current and future technology solutions. Using connected technology across different segments such as energy, transportation, data, infrastructure, and IoT, this project will be divided into two phases that will create a system that can collect and share data with insights that can improve public safety, manage traffic better, and save costs. This trial is also an opportunity for Spark to demonstrate how using IoT and 5G can effectively close the digital divide for Smart cities to develop. A “Smart Street” will deliver a range of technologies in a real-world situation that deliver a more efficient use of stakeholder assets, responsible for collecting, processing, and utilizing data, that can provide increased operational effectiveness, efficiency, safety and resilience across all transportation modes and services.

Auckland Hospital Digital Twin - Auckland District Health Board (ADHB)

Hospitals are complex ecosystems that require a huge amount of coordination and planning. Physical environments, plans, and blueprints are siloed, which often results in resource management inefficiency. By creating Auckland Hospital's digital twin, asBUILT Vault aims to reduce costs, increase operational efficiency, and allow stakeholders to troubleshoot with ease and track assets spatially. asBUILT's spatial intelligence enables next-generation technologies, provides live insights, connects stakeholders to one digital source of data, and reduces operational expenses.

Auckland Hospital's digital twin was made by surveying the premises with cameras, drones, and 3D laser scanners. This provides a 3D model of every nook and cranny of the hospital including its assets. Equipment, lighting, and air-conditioning units are managed with digital tags that provide information such as expiring warranties and last service dates. The digital twin is kept in a Microsoft Azure cloud-based database which stakeholders can update. When combined with other technologies such as IoT, the applications extend far beyond asset management. Maintenance workers can remotely view plant rooms, drone images can be used for site planning, and the Vault dashboard can provide live insights from IoT sensors.

SmartView – Christchurch City Council

Christchurch City Council's Smart Christchurch program has developed SmartView, a web-based app that pulls together data from a range of public and private organisations and displays it in a way that makes information easy for locals and visitors to access. It offers smart aggregation of useful datasets in one place, providing citizens not only the data, but an easier way of understanding and using this data. The outcome has been a hugely popular, useful Web app that people are turning to in order to find key information about their city. This information includes car park availability, environmental information, street art, and even the location of public fruit trees that you can harvest in your neighborhood. SmartView averages 700 visitors per day on a range of activities which include finding transport options, parking, roadworks, electric vehicle charging stations, environment data, what is happening in the city, and consultations that the community can connect to. SmartView was created with the vision that it can be replicated across New Zealand to create a SmartView NZ.

Digital Literacy Training for Seniors - The Office for Seniors, Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa, 20/20 Trust

With last year’s lockdowns limiting opportunities for interaction, there was a notable increase in interest from seniors to learn how to use digital resources, allowing them to connect with others from afar. In response, the New Zealand government earmarked $600,000 in its wellbeing budget to invest in programs such as 'Better Digital Futures' and 'Pacific Senior Connect,' bridging the digital divide that exists. The programs have resulted in the provision of computer trainings, skills, and in some cases affordable internet connection so that seniors can connect from home. Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa utilizes its partner network, including libraries, and community organisations, to teach computer and internet skills. 20/20 Trust works at the grassroots level to provide digital literacy training to the most vulnerable in the community, being delivered at local churches and in the participants own languages. Together, the programs develop digital inclusion and accessibility for all.

Scan & Go – Countdown

COVID-19 increased the pressure on retailers to ensure safe, contactless operations within its stores especially on groceries and supermarkets. This led to the introduction of new technology aimed at reducing human to human contact, and the modification of current retail models to protect both staff and customers. Countdown Ponsonby and several other stores have begun trials of its Scan & Go App and associated new technologies. This app allows you to scan, bag and pay for groceries all from your smartphone. Also, special scales within produce areas use artificial intelligence (AI) to identify fruit even distinguishing between types of apples, and to identify keys or miscellaneous items that may be accidentally placed on the scale. Moreover, as you scan items and place them in your trolley, the platform gives you a running tally to allows you to budget better. As you leave the store, you can scan a QR code to process payment and leave through specific gates that will open only upon payment. The Scan & Go trials are continuing and helping the reduction of person to person contact and improvement of customer queueing one store at a time.

- Ends –

About the Smart City Asia Pacific Awards

IDC SCAPA was created to recognise the top smart city initiatives of public sector agencies that have excelled across the 14 Smart City functional eService categories. All finalists were selected using IDC’s Smart City Development Index framework, a rigorous six-phase benchmarking process that involves input from various stakeholders, including the public. Public/citizen voting is the second phase of this framework and constitutes 25% in the judging criteria to determine the Best of the Best in 14 Smart City functional eService categories.

To learn more about IDC’s Smart City research and advisory capabilities, please visit IDC Government Insights: Worldwide Smart Cities and Communities Strategies. IDC Government Insights has published its worldwide forecasts and strategic predictions, you may access the reports IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Smart Cities and Communities 2021 Predictions, IDC FutureScape: Worldwide National Government 2021 Predictions, and IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Education 2021 Predictions to learn more.

For more information about IDC Smart City Asia Pacific Awards, visit www.idc.com/ap/smartcities. For queries about the methodology used for the Smart Development Index, contact Gerald Wang at gwang@idc.com. For media inquiries, contact Yvonne Gill, ygill @idc.com

About IDC Government Insights

IDC Government Insights assists government policy, program, and IT leaders, as well as the suppliers who serve them, in making more effective technology decisions by providing accurate, timely, and insightful fact-based research and consulting services. Staffed by senior analysts with decades of government and IT industry experience, our global research analyzes and advises on business and technology issues facing the Federal/Central and local/provincial Governments.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world's leading tech media, data and marketing services company. To learn more about IDC, please visit www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC and LinkedIn. Subscribe to the IDC Blog for industry news and insights: http://bit.ly/IDCBlog_Subscribe.


Regions Covered

New Zealand

Topics Covered

Digital transformation

Vertical Markets

Smart cities and communities