SmartCitiesWorld talks to Huawei’s York Yue about how smart city technology can change society.
The digitized world can benefit us all by creating a new economy, new infrastructure and new technology. At the heart of this is the smart city, which Huawei believes can help benefit us all through full connection, extensive intelligence, self-regulation, collaboration and mutual growth.
Ahead of his presentation at Huawei Connect, SmartCitiesWorld sat down with York Yue, President of the Global Government Business Department to discuss his presentation on The Value of Life in Smart Cities.
Graeme Neill, SmartCitiesWorld: The year 2020 has been turbulent, with the pandemic significantly impacting the economy and our daily lives. How is Huawei doing this year?
York Yue, Huawei: Indeed, these are challenging times. We thank our customers and partners for their trust and support. Although the pandemic is still out there, we will do our very best to keep the continuity of our business and services. We are confident that we can continue to develop our capabilities and bring better services to our customers.
SCW: Globalization and urbanization are bringing increasingly severe challenges to our environment, health, and education. How do you think we can address these challenges?
Yue: Globalization is a mega-trend over the long term; so is eco-friendly development. I think that digital technology offers a solution in many ways. Firstly, the pandemic has had a massive impact on the global economy. As the economy continues to suffer, governments are increasingly turning their interest to the digital economy.
Secondly, during the pandemic, we needed new education models to protect our children, and we needed new ways to receive medical treatment, in order to safeguard healthcare workers. This has pushed industrial digital transformation to the top of the agenda.
Finally, as more and more digital technology is being applied, network security, data security, and personal privacy protection are becoming increasingly important.
Industries will need to cooperate with each other more openly and more thoroughly to create a better future. This is why the theme of this year’s HUAWEI CONNECT is "New Value Together."
SCW: Speaking of the theme, this year’s theme is very different from those of the last few years. Can you elaborate on this please?
Yue: I’m happy to. There are two conditions for a new technology to be widely used to create value — information infrastructure and applications. Take 3G as an example. The spread of 3G required not only the extensive construction of 3G networks, but also various mobile internet apps. Communications technology providers such as Huawei, mobile phone companies, and app developers worked together to usher in the 3G era.
When we turn to 5G, the first phase of 5G network construction has almost concluded. Next, we need to work with customers and partners to explore the commercial value of 5G in diverse industries. In the age of the mobile internet, most value is created on the consumer side. Today, the business value of 5G, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing — alongside other new technologies — will be most felt in the government and enterprise sectors. So, we set "New Value Together" as the theme of this year’s HUAWEI CONNECT. This theme not only demonstrates Huawei’s determination to invest in industrial digital transformation, but also serves as a call to industrial partners. Together, we can better explore industrial scenarios, cooperate for mutual benefit, and reap the benefits and value that digital transformation brings.
SCW: You mentioned the implementation of new technologies such as 5G and AI in industries. Are they being used in industries already? Can you give us some examples?
Yue: Yes, they are. Take healthcare as an example. We have already provided AI-assisted medical solutions in a number of countries. Our 5G-based telemedicine solutions are also benefiting many customers as we speak. Indeed, such solutions have played a significant role during the pandemic.
Elsewhere, in road transportation, we have integrated Huawei’s 5G-based vehicle-road coordination technology with partners’ applications to provide an unmanned bus solution. The solution has already been put into commercial use and is serving the general public with many cutting-edge technologies, such as remote driving and precision location.
With the help of cloud computing, 5G, and big data technologies, Huawei, together with partners and customers, also launched the urban traffic brain solution, which greatly improves traffic management efficiency, reducing the traffic accident rate during peak hours. And we have similar scenario-based solutions in the customs, tax, campus, and education fields.
SCW: What suggestions do you have for the digital transformation of governments?
Yue: Digital transformation is no longer an option, but a necessity. Many countries’ governments have proposed economic stimulus plans, and digital investment is an important part. Service and experience are simply the keys to the success of digital transformation. But how do we improve service and experience? I have a few suggestions.
First, increase investment in digital infrastructure. Digital infrastructure, such as connectivity and cloud computing, is the foundation of digital transformation. Governments need to increase investment and construction.
The second one is break data barriers. A single piece of data is of little value, but if we put all data together, they will generate huge value.
Thirdly, open and share data and network infrastructure, with the objective of ensuring data security.
Number four; seriously handle data security and personal privacy when handling data and developing AI applications.
Number five; actively explore new application scenarios of AI. We need specific scenarios to implement digital technology and improve people’s lives.
Finally, look closely at city planning and ongoing operations, to ensure that digital transformation projects can have sustainable investment.
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