The OICT Smart Prague project office focuses on new projects with innovation, data, smart solutions and sustainability at their core. It tests these within Prague and then, if they prove successful in the real city environment, puts them into operation. During 2022, it presented the outputs of several completed projects and launched several new ones. Work continued as planned on other projects, resulting in significant progress. OICT's achievements and experience in the Smart City area were presented to the OICT Smart Prague project office at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona.
"The topics of sustainability and innovation have long been of interest to the whole world, Prague included. How does our metropolis approach them? We test and pilot the possible use of innovative solutions and smart technologies for it through projects that we prepare and implement from A to Z in the OICT Smart Prague project office. Part of its activities and one of the important components of success in local government projects is also communication and sharing of lessons learned. This is done within the Smart Prague Work Group and the Smart Prague Council, which we organise regularly several times a year to contribute to the coordination of Smart Cities projects at the city-wide level. We are also pleased that our projects have impressed the expert jury and won awards in 2022. We appreciate this and take it as a proof that our people do their work for the Capital City of Prague very well and with interest," said Petr Suška, member of the Board of Directors of Operátor ICT, a.s. and Director of Smart City, Innovation and Project Management.
One of the most significant achievements is the progress of the Intermodal Route Planner project, which will provide residents and visitors to Prague with a mobile app to make travelling in the capital easier. It will be possible to find the most optimal route using a combination of different transport modes, including parking and walking. The app will also allow selection of the most suitable route according to the parameters set by the user. During 2022, the intermodal route planner was developed and a non-public pilot and testing was launched at the end of the year. Users will be able to try it out on the PID Lítačka mobile app in 2023. The intermodal route planner will then be further developed with new mobility services taking user feedback into account.
At the beginning of the year, a feasibility study was prepared for the project Monitoring Microclimatic Parameters of the Urban Environment. The implementation of the project was approved by the Prague City Council on February 28, 2022. The aim of the pilot project is to test sensors that monitor selected microclimatic variables in the streets and spaces of the city and to develop a methodology for the implementation of similar measurements. During the year, a total of 118 sensors were installed at 15 different locations, from which data is gradually starting to flow. Dashboards are currently being prepared to make the data available to the general public.
Another project that was approved by the Prague City Council on August 1, 2022 for implementation is the Advanced Video Analysis of Traffic Flow project. Its main objective will be to modify existing video technologies and test them for continuous acquisition of anonymized statistical traffic data. The data collection will be carried out by means of video detection through traffic cameras placed on selected sections of traffic roads, which have the particular advantage of being able to detect more traffic information simultaneously. Preliminary market consultations with suppliers of the technology took place at the end of 2022.
In the second half of 2022, work has also started on a pilot project called Mobile Monitoring of Selected Elements of Public Spaces, which was approved by the Prague City Council on August 1, 2022. This pilot project will test the possibilities of image analysis and artificial intelligence technology for regular monitoring of the condition of public spaces and their elements. This includes, for example, monitoring the passage width for Integrated Rescue Service vehicles, waste containers and their immediate surroundings, parked vehicles and the activities of collection vehicle operators. The developed system will be able to identify the required information without human intervention by recognising defined elements and their properties in the image. The anonymised data obtained will then be sent for further analysis to evaluate deviations from the initial state. At the end of 2022, preliminary market consultations were held with potential technology suppliers and the preparation of the tender began. The project was awarded 3rd place in the Zlatý erb (Golden Crest) competition at the Internet in State and Local Government conference.
Another project that was formally launched during 2022 is the MaaS APP - Single Registration and Payment for Mobility Services project, which was approved by the Prague City Council on August 2, 2022. The aim of this project is to create an innovative system of single registration and payment for shared mobility services in the Capital City of Prague and the region served by Prague Integrated Transport. The innovative solution will consist in extending the functions of the PID Lítačka application (meaning also Moje Praha/My Prague app) with the functions of single user registration within the ecosystem of offered forms of transport (bikesharing, carsharing, taxi, etc.) and enabling payment for the services from one place. The project is in the initiation phase, when relationships with mobility providers are being established. Work has also started on the design of the business model, technical specification and architecture. At the very end of 2022, a marketing survey was conducted to map the level of experience with shared services in Prague and to gauge interest in an application that would integrate shared services. The survey results validate the benefits of the MaaS APP project and confirm that the city's role as an integrator of this service is received is a positive way.
On August 29, 2022, a project plan called Data Integration of Parking Lots in the Prague Catchment Area was approved for implementation. It aims to reduce the traffic load in the territory of Prague by improving the efficiency of car parking in car parks outside the city for passengers who would further use public transport on their way to Prague. Increased efficiency of parking space utilisation in car parks outside Prague will be achieved through data integration of static geospatial data, static domain data, dynamic information on available parking capacities in car parks in the catchment area of Prague and integration of booking and payment services. Information about parking lots will be available to the user via the PID Lítačka mobile application, which will further navigate the user to the selected parking space. In the second half of 2022, contractual relations with parking operators were established and the environment for data integration was prepared.
In 2022, an order was concluded with the Transport Department of the Prague City Hall for the extension of the analytical part, i.e. dashboards and data evaluation of the Cycle Counter project, thanks to which useful real-time data on the utilisation of cycle paths is available. The extension of the analytical part consisted, among other things, in the creation of a new dashboard that allows the comparison of selected counts for selected periods and also correlation with the weather. This dashboard is traditionally published together with the others on the website: golemio.cz/data/cycling.
Part of the cooperation with the Transport Department of the Prague City Hall is also the project Determination of pedestrian traffic intensity in public space. Furthermore, the ICT Operátor (OICT), in cooperation with the Institute of Planning and Development of the Prague Capital City (IPR), has created an Implementation Plan, which generally summarises the possibilities of selected locations for further development of this technology and its use in the metropolitan area.
The Prague City Council approved the final report for the Comprehensive Energy Management in Prague Capital City Buildings project in August 2022, which addressed both a review of existing energy and water consumption and opportunities to make consumption more efficient. It also included draft methodological procedures. The project was contracted on October 14, 2022 and went into normal operation.
Another project focused on the energy sector that has been completed with positive results is the Energy Ecosystem project. This project focused in detail on the development of a rating system for city-owned buildings. Its contribution is to make informed decisions on the direction of investments in energy measures and innovations in buildings and facilities. The final report evaluating the project was approved by the Prague City Council in January 2023.
During the first half of the year, representatives of the OICT Smart Prague project office worked intensively on the preparation of a document entitled Comparison of Electromobility Generation Options: Concession with JV Model, which was discussed and approved by the Prague City Council on September 19, 2022. At the same time, the OICT was invited to prepare the Concession documentation for the public tender for the electromobility supplier.
The routine operation of the Smart Waste Collection project continued throughout 2022. This is dedicated to monitoring the condition and fullness of the separate waste bins using IoT sensors, which are mainly located in underground bins and waste bins with bottom dump. Information on the filling and collection of bins is available to the Prague Capital City employees, city districts and the general public in the My Prague app (Moje Praha app). The project has already been expanded to approximately 1,200 sensors during 2022. In the future, it is planned to expand to all waste bins with bottom dump, i.e. approx. 7,000 units.
In cooperation with the Department of Environmental Protection of the Prague City Council, the implementation of the project RFID chips in waste bins was launched in 2022, which is a continuation of the Smart Waste Collection project. Its main objective is to create a comprehensive tool for the detection of collections in top-dumped sorted waste bins. Waste bins fitted with RFID chips detected with RFID readers placed on the collection vehicles will collect data that will provide information on actual collections made for the monitored sample of separated waste bins included in the pilot testing. A tender for the supplier of the RFID chips was carried out in the second half of 2022. This will be followed by the installation of the technology on 400 waste bins with top dump and the actual start of the pilot.
During 2022, a project called Healthy Classroom - measuring carbon dioxide levels in schools was completed. The pilot testing took place in the school year 2021/2022 in the classrooms of the Gymnázium na Vítězné pláni through two types of sensors that measured carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, temperature and humidity. The sensors were equipped with a light indicator that alerted the teacher when the limits were exceeded, indicating that the classroom needed to be ventilated. In order to evaluate the data, a dashboard was created in the OICT Golemio data platform. The measurements showed that CO2 concentrations can rise by multiples of the limits during a single class period. It is clear from the testing that a similar technology for monitoring the indoor environment is not only suitable for educational buildings, but would also find its application in office buildings, retirement homes, or anywhere where large numbers of people are concentrated in confined indoor spaces and thus risk exceeding the CO2 hygiene standard. The project came second in the Egovernment The Best 2022 competition in the category of urban projects. The project has been completed and the final report is published on the website.
Another project that was completed during 2022 is a project called Innovative Technologies for Traffic Sign Management - Smart Signs. The main objective of the pilot project was to test IoT technology that will provide new information, such as GPS position, position relative to the Earth's geomagnetic field, change of position from baseline, etc., for traffic signs, both mobile and fixed. The technology was to help detect changes in the state of traffic signs such as rotation, repositioning, deflection due to wind or vandalism, etc. As part of the pilot project, 163 units of the sensor solution were installed and tested for 12 months. The results of the testing show that the current technology is not sufficiently accurate. The project has been completed and its detailed evaluation is the subject of a final report.
In the first half of 2022, representatives of the OICT Smart Prague project office organized a several-month-long competition called Prague Innovation Marathon – Nakopni Prahu 2022. For Prague Capital City. It was the third year of the competition, the essence of which is to engage the public in the issue of urban innovation and subsequent project support for the best three ideas. The Nakopni Prahu competition was open to teams of two to five people who came up with an idea for a solution to one of the challenges. The first place in the competition went to the Zavaděči team with their project Řadička, which addressed the issue of tram shifts in major transport hubs. Second place went to the reKáva team with an idea for smart collection of coffee grounds from cafes and other participating institutions and their subsequent use in community gardens. Third place went to the Gamifit team with an idea for developing a gamified fitness app for children, which will then be offered to primary schools to make PE lessons more attractive. OICT provided project support to the winning teams in the second half of 2022, when all three projects were implemented. In September, the Prague City Council approved the framework contract for the provision of the following editions of Nakopni Prahu and the OICT started the preparation of the Nakopni Prahu 2023 edition.
Since 2017, the project office has been mapping the progress of the capital city in implementing the Smart Prague Concept until 2030 and the development of the Smart City concept in Prague in the form of the Smart Prague Index yearbook. In 2022, the 5th edition of the yearbook was published, which monitors how Prague is evolving towards a smarter and more sustainable form using Smart City elements, serves city representatives for more effective planning, is a source of information for the professional public, academia and, last but not least, is a way of how Prague presents itself abroad. In the reporting period, the data of the monitored indicators was collected and evaluated, the graphic design and publication of the Yearbook for 2021 in Czech and English language and the Yearbook website was updated. The Smart Prague Index has also attracted the attention of experts from the UN Human Settlements Programme, who used it as an example in the publication Global Review of Smart City: Governance Practices.
In 2022, activities related to the CRAFT - Creating Actionable Futures and NEB-STAR - New European Bauhaus Stavanger project continued. At the same time, the coordination of another European Horizon Europe project "ASCEND", prepared in cooperation with the Prague Development Company, the Prague Renewable Energy Association and UCEEB CTU, started. At the same time, further joint involvement in European projects within the 2023 calls was consulted with UCEEB CVUT. In addition, contacts were established with several potential foreign partners for cooperation on upcoming grant challenges, e.g. City of Pamplona.
People could learn more about the projects and activities of the OICT Smart Prague project office at the company's stand at the Prague Comic Con 2022 pop culture festival. Another way for the public to learn more about smart innovation projects is through a promo video that was filmed in 2022 and is available online. In cooperation with the Kingdom of Railways (Království železnic), a fun and educational programme Get to Know Smart Prague (Poznej chytrou Prahu) was prepared in 2022, which shows children in a playful way how modern technology and various innovative gadgets work in the capital.