As the Internet of Things enables new levels of interconnectivity, a digital twin city is helping Singapore plan for a sustainable future.
3D computer models of buildings and cities are familiar to many, but Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCity takes the concept further.
It continuously generates the city as a dynamic, multidimensional data model that integrates information such as population density, traffic density, weather, energy supply and recycling volumes in real time.
The process creates a digital twin of the city which attempts to capture the complex spatial and temporal implications of life and work to support planners as they seek to optimise urban sustainability.
The 3DEXPERIENCity project ‘Virtual Singapore’ is a vision jointly realised with the National Research Foundation Singapore, and is part of the Government’s Smart Nation Singapore initiative. This will be the world’s first digital twin of an existing city state and will provide Singaporeans with an effective way to engage in the digital economy. It will be both a collaboration platform for city departments and businesses, and a communication platform for the city and its citizens.
The first phase of the project – the 3DEXPERIENCity platform – is expected to be completed by 2018 and will serve as the launch pad for further solutions. The dynamic 3DEXPERIENCity model is already enabling data analytics and simulations to test and validate envisioned concepts that will enable the quality of Singapore’s living environment to be maintained as its population continues to grow.
The model is based on sources including authorised data from different state departments. This provides demographic, geographic, topology, climate, and mobility data, historic and real-time, so stakeholders can explore the effects of existing and future urbanization in the digital realm. It places no limits on users, enabling third-party applications to be launched alongside its visualisation, authoring, simulation and data analytic search environments. Solutions can be developed to optimise logistics, state and city management and other realms such as environmental emergency management, infrastructure planning and protection, and local city/state services.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is ushering in a new level of interconnectivity, with data playing a significant role. People, their activities, smart machines and mobile devices generate data, but in order to enable the experiences and insights that can result in sustainable solutions for the future, the data must be analysed and made accessible. 3DEXPERIENCity gathers IoT data in a way that enables it to be analysed and visualised so that people can envision, create, test and simulate possibilities for the future, before they are realised.
In addition, the IoT is creating a new relationship between the real and the virtual, as embedded microchips enable the characteristics and behaviour of devices to be reprogrammed at will. This will result in a fundamental shift as new machine-to-machine, machine-to-human and human-to-human relationships necessitate new business models that are linked to any object as a serviceable and potentially service-receiving entity.
We acknowledge this paradigm shift, harnessing data from objects, people and processes not only to provide new business models through experiences such as the virtual twin which integrate the physical and virtual realms, but also to harmonise product, life and nature.
All of our current research follows the premise of rethinking the traditional status quo. For example, research in the IoT-Car-City area envisions a link between the simulation and optimisation of vehicle and city systems. In addition, the Industry Future 4.0 Experience uses the digital twin concept to enable the development of global industry networks consisting of intelligent factories where the physical world is connected with cyber-physical systems. This solution geo-locates the assets and processes of global operating businesses in real time in the 3DEXPERIENCity/Geosphere application, enabling higher adaptability and efficiency in resource, time and energy usage across production plants, and supplier networks.
As one of the world’s most advanced city in terms of technology use for planning and adjustment to future changes, the Singapore Government’s Smart Nation Singapore vision correlates with Dassault Systèmes’ goals.
“Cities are the most complex products that humans make,” says Bernard Charlès, President and CEO of Dassault Systèmes. “Through an efficient and precise prognosis of urban and architectural planning, and through the use of modern tools and methods, the planning of national resources can be better anticipated, services more efficiently offered and a sustainable lifestyle supported.”
Author: Ingeborg Rocker, PhD, Vice President of 3DEXPERIENCity | Geosphere and member of Dassault Systèmes’ Corporate Strategy Team. Rocker is responsible for developing a vision and strategy for modeling and simulating our planet with a particular focus on urban settlements.