World Championship Hockey and high-tech meet at Nokia Arena - Wapice's AI solution helps optimize people flows

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The currently ongoing Ice Hockey World Championship tournament provided an excellent opportunity for The City of Tampere to pilot an AI-based traffic monitoring solution, IoT-TICKET® Smart Mobility Insights around the Nokia Arena.

The solution collects anonymous data of people flows, which helps the city to understand the route choices of ice hockey fans and potential congestion points on the way. The excellent partner network enabled the efficient commissioning of the system - Signify, Edzcom, NVIDIA and Node Solutions being some of the partners with Wapice in the project.

Fluent city traffic boosts the experience economy in Tampere

The newly built Nokia Arena provides facilities for numerous experiences such as watching world-class ice hockey! The city of Tampere wishes to ensure the best possible visiting experience by providing fluent and safe traffic around the big events, and encourage both the Tampere residents and visitors to use the options of light transport.

One of the goals of Smart City for Citizens –program (Älykaupunki kaupunkilaisille) of the City of Tampere is to utilise city environment data to benefit the city residents. The solution implemented together with Wapice provides analyzed data that can be utilised in different functions of the city in the future: it is useful for example in the long term city planning, or for short term in organising traffic for the mass events.

The experimentation is an excellent example of co-development together with companies that benefits all the parties.

Teppo Rantanen, City of Tampere

Data makes it possible to increase the utilisation of light transport, since the effects of changes made in traffic arrangements can be monitored on the IoT platform in real time. The role of the IoT platform as the enabler of data-driven decision making is central: in addition to data acquisition, the platform is used to provide visual dashboards and combine different data sources.

Dashboard view of the traffic monitoring solution Dashboard view of the traffic monitoring solution.

Machine vision is a cost-effective solution for the city environment

Installing traditional traffic metering systems is often costly and time-consuming, but also their accuracy can be weak in use cases where the traffic is monitored from different angles, or there is a need to identify different vehicles.

IoT-TICKET® Smart Mobility Insights utilises the existing camera infrastructure and the streetside network of the City of Tampere. In addition to this, a private Mesh-network built in the area makes it possible to flexibly add new cameras in the area. Private Mesh- and 5G-networks are an important part of smart cities in the future as they increase the opportunities to sensor the city environment with great flexibility.

The commissioning of the solution was very fast and flexible. This experiment is a good example of the possibilities of new artificial intelligence techniques in the city environment. The solution is also very cost-effective, as the data provided by the existing infrastructure can be utilised in completely new use cases. We identify this and many other vision AI-based solutions to provide significant opportunities for cities around the world.

Markku Niemi, Business Tampere

The security aspects and GDPR were highly prioritised in the implementation: the streetside network is strictly protected and the image stream is processed locally by utilising edge computing, meaning that only the results of the calculation are sent to the cloud.

Smart City is built with collaboration

Sustainable smart city solutions are built by bringing different competences and operators together: whether it comes to technology or city development expertise. Jari Kuusisto from Wapice thinks that this experimentation built for IIHF world championships is an excellent example of the power of ecosystems:

In addition to Wapice, many other partners were involved in the implementation: we utilised the network technology provided by Signify, and the network services that Edzcom and Node Solutions provided together. NVIDIA GPU technology and NVIDIA Metropolis framework were utilised in the machine vision solution.

I would like to give a special thanks to Juho and Matti Ylikorpi, the experts of Node Solutions, who did such an excellent job in setting up the network and server infrastructure!

Jari Kuusisto, Product Manager, Wapice

The City of Tampere has made a 10-year collaboration contract for IoT platform with Wapice and the AI solution implemented is one example of the platform use cases. Tampere plans to expand the use of the solution to increase data-driven traffic planning, where one of the biggest focus areas is to support carbon-neutral city mobility. The IoT platform has been built to support different data acquisition solutions, wireless network options and information system integrations, which enables flexible development of smart city solutions and reduces technology locks.

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Smart Tampere: The IoT platform supports city decision makers and improves the resident experience
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Article banner image: Sport fans arriving to Nokia Arena. Photo: Skyfox Marko Kallio, City of Tampere