We’ve all experienced it: You’re driving to an important appointment and it feels like every traffic light is turning red even when there are no other cars waiting at the intersection. With the “flowAI” concept, Siemens and Microsoft present an exciting example of how they are working together to shape the future of the Internet of Things (IoT) – and a solution to get traffic flowing at certain intersections or even throughout the entire city.
In recent years, many companies have made tremendous advances in the field of digitalization. Smart factories have been able to significantly improve their productivity and raise the quality of their products while keeping costs low. This has resulted in numerous new business models and service offerings. Yet to implement the solutions worldwide, the companies face huge challenges – because the basis upon which the data is exchanged is not only huge, but is also heterogeneous and often incompatible.
“MindSphere on Microsoft Azure” is a solution that enables users to access the industrial expertise of Siemens as well as Microsoft’s scalable cloud services easily and without barriers. Interested parties are able to build their digital enterprise on a cloud platform that offers fast and secure solutions while also enabling them to quickly develop their own industrial IoT applications.
Intelligent traffic management
Yet the Internet of Things offers numerous opportunities for innovation that also extend beyond the industrial sector. “We are also using artificial intelligence to optimize the traffic flow in cities,” says Ingo Oppelt, account executive for Siemens at Microsoft. To achieve this, Siemens designed the first automatically controllable traffic light system for “flowAI,” the intelligent traffic concept. All available data are used to make the intervals for road users as seamless as possible: All the traffic lights within a system communicate with and react to each other.
“Based on different traffic patterns, we are constantly improving our control strategy,” explains David Borst, Data Analytics implementation manager at Siemens. In this way, the ideal solution can be found, whether for a single district, an entire city, or even across cities. “On your way to work, we ensure that you won’t get into a traffic jam that can be avoided.”
A proven partnership
This is just one example of the successful collaboration between Siemens and Microsoft. The two companies have been technology partners supporting communication standards in industrial automation for 20 years. With “MindSphere on Microsoft Azure,” there is now a secure and reliable platform that helps to generate added value and develop innovative solutions – regardless of the industry.