With the upsurge in the usage of technological devices and connected sensors, geography is inextricably linked to modern technological processes and systems. Thus, location intelligence is a fundamental part of our daily lives and a necessary core of some of the most successful companies in the world today.
“Precise location data is key to growing and evolving new mobility services which will help to address a number of challenges around reducing operational costs and improving the user experience as cities grow,” said Vivek Vaidya, Associate Partner and Senior Vice President, Intelligent Mobility, Asia Pacific at Frost & Sullivan, during a thought leadership panel hosted by HERE Technologies, a developer of mapping and location platform services. The forum included an open Q&A dialogue session at which members of the audience participated by sharing key issues affecting the industry across the Asia Pacific region.
Led by a group of industry and market intelligence experts – Stanimira Koleva, Senior Vice President and General Manager of HERE Technologies, Asia Pacific; Vivek Vaidya, Associate Partner and Senior Vice President, Intelligent Mobility, Asia Pacific at Frost & Sullivan; Ivan Shornikov, Chief Executive Officer at Raxel Telematics; Ate Poorthuis, Associate Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences (Geography), at Singapore University of Technology and Design; and Terence Tan, Lead Consultant, Geospatial Specialist Office at GovTech Singapore; the panel addressed opportunities and challenges that mapping and location data related services present to the nation, its citizens as well as organizations that operate in Singapore and beyond.
From “smart” to “ideal” cities
Through collecting and gaining insights from data, governments and businesses are making cities like Singapore more efficient through the optimisation of services. The end goal is to make urban environments cleaner, greener, safer, more mobile, and ultimately smarter while creating better, more technologically advanced places to live, work and play. Beyond technological and efficiency capabilities, smart city technologies have the potential to greatly improve quality of life for city inhabitants.
An increasing number of new and exciting modes of transportation are under evaluation in Singapore – from driverless buses to air taxis and unmanned drones, existing infrastructure has to adapt in order to serve more technologically advanced and demanding transport replacements. To keep up with a growing on-demand economy and changing consumer expectations, as well as the demand for enhanced connectivity and real-time data exchange, new and more flexible cellular infrastructures and equipment such as 5G are needed.
Collaboration powers automation
The autonomous world is being built on data that is secure and trusted, yet shared and open. New data platforms and marketplaces require common data standards that must be agreed across businesses, governments and countries – all with the aim of enabling effective communication. The cornerstone of automation is a network that is scalable, flexible and allows for minimal latency – something that is critical for autonomous services, from driving to emergency response. 5G promises to deliver this, and the public and private sector in Singapore and some Asian markets are already working together to build it.
Right to privacy
Data collection is an essential aspect of mapping apps, ride sharing services, food delivery programmes, and other services. All of these types of apps offer a value exchange: you provide your location information; and they provide convenient, faster, more customised services. The implementation of GDPR in EU has further increased consumer interest on how companies are leveraging and processing personal data. As a result, consumers expect more transparency and choices to trust the service provider with the data requested to fuel their services.
HERE Technologies Asia Pacific Headquarters in Singapore
The panel discussion was organised in conjunction with the relocation of the company’s Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore as part of its regional expansion efforts. Located at Singapore’s downtown Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) and spanning over 1,170 square metres, the new office is testament to the organisation’s commitment to invest and drive location use cases and revenue growth in Singapore and across the Asia Pacific region.
Stanimira Koleva, Senior Vice President and General Manager of HERE Technologies, Asia Pacific said, “Asia Pacific has always been an important region for HERE, and we are proud to further invest in Singapore with our regional headquarter launch at MBFC. This will allow better access to all the markets in the region. As we move into the next decade, technology and innovation will continue to drive robust growth opportunities in the use of location intelligence. Adoption of smart cities technology is on the rise as well and all these factors combined will change the way we manage our business, live and commute. ”
As one of the world’s leading Smart Cities, Singapore has cemented its position as a digital research and development hub in the region. This makes it ideal for HERE Technologies to locate their regional headquarters in Singapore to gain better access to other Asia Pacific markets. The newly opened office will continue to facilitate HERE growth plans and execute on customer-centric initiatives by collaborating with local and regional partners.
“Hosting this thought leadership panel discussion couldn’t come at a better time. With location intelligence being such a huge part of ‘Smart Cities’ growth, and we have brought together industry experts on this topic to emphasize the importance of location as a powerful tool and how it can enable an autonomous world for everyone,” added Koleva.
Headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands, HERE Technologies has over 9000 employees globally. Its new regional headquarters in Singapore is currently home to approximately 60 staff and has the capacity to grow to 100 employees.