Alibaba In Project To Solve Traffic Problems In Kuala Lumpur

A system for controlling traffic that uses artificial intelligence will be set up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, by Alibaba. This is the first service by Alibaba outside the online retail giant’s home market of China. The traffic control system will be deployed by Alibaba Group’s cloud computing arm, Alibaba Cloud.

With the traffic control system, live traffic recommendations and predictions will be made with a view to increasing traffic efficiency in Malaysia’s capital. Data will be crunched from mapping apps, public transportation systems, traffic bureaus and video footage. In the project Alibaba Cloud will be forming a partnership with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, a state agency, as well as the city council of Kuala Lumpur. By May it is expected that about 500 cameras will have been installed in the inner city.

Second data center

Last year the founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma, and the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, unveiled an e-hub facility as part of efforts aimed at eliminating barriers to trade for emerging economies and small enterprises. According to the president of Alibaba, Simon Hu, the online retail giant is considering setting up a second data center in Malaysia after the first one was up in the country last year with a view to developing the local ecosystem.

“… we are happy to see Malaysia become the first country outside of China to adopt the City Brain. Through the program, we aim to empower all Malaysian stakeholders in both the public and private sectors …” said Hu.

Faster movement of traffic

According to Yasmin Mahmood, the chief executive officer of Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, it was not possible to estimate what impact the initiative will have on Kuala Lumpur’s traffic yet. In Hangzhou, China, a similar traffic management system has resulted in traffic violations reports whose accuracy rate is up to 92%. Additionally it has helped in reducing the amount of time it takes for emergency vehicles get to their destination by half. It has also increased the speed of traffic by 15%.

The setting up of a traffic system in Malaysia by Alibaba comes in the wake of the Chinese online retail giant and contract manufacturer Foxconn leading a fundraising round which netted approximately $350 million for Xiaopeng Motors, an electric carmaker. Xiaopeng Motors aims to become the Tesla of China and is set to launch its first car, the G3 crossover, later this year. Other investors in the fundraising round included IDG Capital.

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