Malaysia plans to become the first country outside of China to adapt the smart city system developed by Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing subsidiary of the Alibaba group.

The Malaysia City Brain is an initiative which is the result of a partnership between Alibaba Cloud, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), the country’s digital economy development agency, and Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL), the city council in the capital. The initiative will support Malaysia’s digital transformation with cloud technology and artificial intelligence (AI).

City Brain was first adopted by the government of Hangzhou, Alibaba’s home city, to help run operations more efficiently. The service takes in all kinds of data, including video feeds, social media and traffic information, which are processed to provide information that will help better run and manage daily activities. This information could theoretically be used to respond to traffic accidents and crimes or can even be used to redesign parts of the city and reduce traffic congestion.

The power and functionality of Malaysia City Brain will enable Malaysian urban planners and city officials to change the way they run the city and upgrade their governance and decision-making, taking into consideration all the requirements in a particular area.

Kuala Lumpur will be the first city in Malaysia to roll out Alibaba Cloud’s City Brain initiative.

In the first phase, the system will work on traffic to improve mobility in the city. With its cloud computing and data processing capabilities, City Brain can better the flow of traffic, optimising traffic signals and generate structured data summaries, like traffic volume and speed, which can be used  to facilitate other tasks.

The system can also be integrated to help manage emergency dispatches and ambulance calls, identifying the quickest route and adjusting traffic flow for emergency vehicles.

Alibaba has said that it wishes to expand the scope of its influence to cover areas that will hold interest to entrepreneurs, enterprises, start-ups, and research institutions.

Simon Hu, Senior Vice President of Alibaba Group and President of Alibaba Cloud stated that they wish to empower all Malaysian stakeholders in both the public and private sectors by providing them with tools to enhance efficiency, advance innovation and succeed in the digital age.

MDEC’s Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Yasmin Mahmood said that the collaboration between MDEC and the Alibaba Group is a leap towards digitizing Malaysia where knowledge sharing and the crossover of best practices co-exist. Their hope is that this system will help benefit Malaysians and provide tangible results of simple digital solutions for various problems.