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Leveraging Edge-to-Cloud Analytics and AI to Promote Public Safety in Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland Transport is responsible for keeping the New Zealand city’s citizens and visitors moving safely on roads and in public places. Among other resources, AT collects data from the edge across a closed-circuit television (CCTV) network of more than 3,500 cameras.

The cameras are always on. They record traffic patterns, identify speeders and capture accidents and criminal activity. In addition to recording footage for public safety and law enforcement, the cameras provide data for intelligence and planning purposes.

“Our CCTV network is all about keeping citizens safe as they travel around the transport network and protecting our public transport facilities,” says Roger Jones, executive general manager of business technology for AT.

Data continues to grow at a rapid pace, as does the need to use more cameras. AT’s video management system was unable to scale to keep pace with the growing need for data processing and new cameras. The limited scale also impacted storage.

“We store about a petabyte of data a week,” says Jones. “We don’t keep all of that data indefinitely, but if there’s a safety incident, we’re required by the Public Records Act 2005 to keep it for seven years.”

Jones was also seeking an upgrade to support additional use cases that would require additional cameras and more sophisticated analytics. “We needed more analytics, and we needed a single system for the whole city,” he says. 

AT chose a path of data-first modernization leveraging the HPE GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform. The GreenLake solution enabled AT to support 60% more cameras and reduced server rack space by 41%, resulting in a 37% decrease in energy consumption. In addition, with the GreenLake cloud consumption model, AT was able to avoid upfront costs and pay for only what is used.

“We’re also able to easily meet our requirements for disaster recovery, backup and user management without the added cost or complexity of third-party applications and additional equipment,” Jones says. “Previously, we had a mix of our own staff supporting the servers, plus multiple third parties managing the backups, infrastructure and physical hardware. Now, we have one vendor.” 

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HPE GreenLake managed the end-to-end transformation from the old system to the modern platform. HPE GreenLake Management Services monitors and operates the  compute and storage systems. AT can now access a single dashboard to see consumption as well as compute and storage trends.

“The whole HPE GreenLake cloud services value proposition was really about taking all the management headaches away,” says Jones.

The benefits of the data-first modernization efforts have been significant:

  • The video management system now offers more artificial-intelligence-based analytics to help with real-time decision-making.
  • Enforcement and parking officers are able to monitor events from a remote location, meaning they can do their jobs more safely and be more productive because they are not passively waiting for something to happen.
  • The new system provides seamless upgrades. “We have continuous uptime,” Jones says. “We’re able to perform online updates and patches.”
  • AI analytics are being used to help in transport planning and optimization of transport routes. “Our CCTV network supports so many different use cases across the city,” he says. “The beauty of it is that they are all supported by a single back-end system.”

The system provides flexibility to support new use cases. “One of the ideas we’re considering is adding additional cameras around schools to monitor drop-off and pick-up behavior and determine whether traffic flow should be rerouted or if a safety feature should be implemented,” Jones says. Other ideas include better management of loading zones for commercial vehicles and using AI to influence traffic light sequencing based on what is happening in real time.

AT is also looking to add other applications to the HPE GreenLake platform to reduce storage costs and simplify management, while also exploring the possibility of providing advice and guidance to agencies in other cities that want to perform the same kind of transport planning and support. “We are contemplating what that might look like in the future, whether we continue to engage on a consulting basis or whether we provide a shared service to other council organizations in Auckland.”

Without the shift to a data-first approach facilitated by HPE GreenLake, many of these new ideas would not be possible. Now, with data-first modernization, the possibilities seem limitless.

For more information on HPE GreenLake and Auckland Transport, please view the full case study, “Using Advanced Analytics to Promote Public Safety.” For more information on how your organization can achieve data-first modernization, please visit HPE GreenLake and review the articles and resources on this special TechTarget site.

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