2018 Big Data Expo of Guiyang

2017 Big Data Expo

The 2018 Bid Data Expo of Guiyang is now history. It closed Tuesday after four days of successful events and exhibitions. Details of the event, along with participants and exhibitors can be found at the Big Data Expo website: BIG DATA CENTRAL WEB SITE.

2018 Big Data Expo rocks according to Jack (aka_ John_ S._Porter)

2018 Big Data Expo rocks according to Jack.

There were many similarities to the 2017, but also a surprise. It was beyond even my wildest overactive imagination. I wasn’t shy about my disappointment in the 2017 Expo because it was so lacking in robotics, motion control, and automated vehicles. I consider this to be central to our future as humans . . .  see: 2017 Big Data Expo.
Though I was unsatisfied with the robotics, motion control and automated vehicle coverage in the 2017 Expo, I was MORE THAN SATISFIED with it’s prominence in 2018.  Artificial intelligence (AI) was everywhere in the Pixmoving presentation. The highlights were the coffee robot, the donkey car race, and the driverless car. The coffee robot demonstrated the fine detail, proving how far robotics and AI has come. The donkey car competition showed how difficult it is to drive a car, even in fairly predictable environments and situations.

The robot that serves the coffee was impressive, but it had no eyes. No wives or children moved  the coffee pot, or the cups. Nevertheless, this demonstration was very good. You can tell by the audience reaction. This display got everybody’s attention.

The Donkey Car is a car  that drives itself, but with very limited intelligence. It has a small on-board computer,  some rule based controls, and a camera. The camera helps the car stay between the white lines. It looks like a toy “remote control” car, but there is no (human) controller when the race begins.  All the decisions on direction and speed are made by the on-board computer. It is dumb, like a donkey.

The driverless car was also a big hit. There were so many people that wanted to ride around the circuit that I heard a man complain that he waited two hours to get on the car. The driverless car has a Lidar navigation sensor (on top) which is a newer product for machine vision. It uses lasers to judge objects and distances, many, many lasers to gather active data about the road. This car highlights several of the “drive by wire” products marketed by Pixmotion. Pixmotion is promoting open source coding for Automated Vehicles and has it’s own line of hardware that they are seeking to install, not only on cars, but many kinds of vehicles, from freight moving trucks to coffee serving robots on wheels.

Other Things at the Big Data Conference

The Exhibition Hall was open from the 26th to the 29th and there were also classes and presentations on the 25th. This conference was similar to prior conferences in that special tickets allowing more access were available.  One impressive presentation was about the use of Big Data to expedite the permitting process for businesses. Rather than using staff time and a complex permitting process for each department, more departments are being merged and application forms are being populated by the government’s Big Data database. This eliminates fees and long waiting periods while applications are processed.  If your registration with the government is in order, you get your permit — quickly. This kind of cost cutting and convenience to citizens is a big deal.

The exhibits seemed less expansive than in the past, with a bit of a push from a few vendors expanding presence. Of course Pixmoving was the biggest. Google and Facebook were also well represented, along with many of the other big names. Smart City software, mapping software, and health care were big. Of course virtual reality and the  “whole body” virtual world devices were present as well. Here are some sample photos.

It was fun  talking to vendors with various levels of English. It was fairly simple to stop and talk, especially with people that are working on their English skills. Alex Lau of Sefonsoft was very kind to me .  .  .AlexLau

 

 

 

 

Guiyang Tech Village

The Autonomous Vehicle (“AV” or Automated Vehicle) technology is the next big thing in technology. The Big Data Valley initiative of Guiyang can jump start the creation and nurturing of a technology Village (Guiyang Tech Village) in Guiyang. The Big Data initiative has already started this process, but there is still a need for focus of the resources being created by the the Big Data initiative. AV technology requires a combination of two of the “Big Three” technology initiatives in the world, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics (Biotech is the third). China and the USA are similar in that about 2/3 of GDP is consumer driven. Housing is the #1 consumer purchase, and cars are #2.  The market for auto enhancements, such as AV, is massive.

These concepts are developed elsewhere on this site, but the implementation of AI and Robotics in Guiyang can use the AV technology framework. Sensors, machine learning, actuators, and decision making are all required when a car, truck, or bus is driven by a human. The AV research, the testing, and application of that research provides a concrete focus for so many of these advanced research subjects. An AV initiative in Guiyang has the potential of attracting top talent to Guiyang companies and universities.

Technology people can usually choose where they want to live, but the technology village concept multiplies the productivity of individuals. Guiyang already has the quality of life that is attractive to the young techies. See: Guiyang Top City The AV provides a focus for those techies.

The implementation plan is specific. Develop and test AV technology using existing Guiyang buses and drivers:

  1. Automate bus maneuvering and parking in the North Guiyang Train Station (Beizhan Gaotia).
  2. Retrofit existing BRT buses with sensors, actuators, and computers with cloud communication.
  3. Connect the BRT buses to the Guiyang Big Data infrastructure and then begin building and learning.
  4. Retain existing bus drivers to monitor effectiveness of the developing technologies and provide tertiary manual override in event of technology failures of primary and secondary automation. Also, presence of drivers on the buses is important for customers to feel safe.
  5. Initially it is essential to get “cheaters” under control in the dedicated BRT lane of the #2 Ring Road. Connect the BRT cameras to software that can identify people who break the rules against using the dedicated BRT bus lane for cars. Progressively heavy fines should be used to keep private drivers clear of the bus lane. Fine revenue can also be used to help finance AV research.
  6. When the “bugs” are out of the BRT automated vehicle control system, wealthy drivers should be permitted to retrofit their vehicles with AV equipment. This will allow them to return  to the dedicated bus lane for high speed travel around Guiyang, taking advantage of both the dedicated bus lane and the Big Data controlled transport system.
  7. While Guiyang is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, with five million people stacked together on the plateau, wealthy drivers could take advantage of early AV technology to maneuver the city. After using AV on the BRT dedicated lane, they can gradually expand their range of operation to go to and from common destinations, like home and work, etc.
  8. As prices of AV equipment fall, more and more Guiyang people will be able to afford to enter the automated vehicle system as it gradually expands from the #2 Ring Road into the general streets and alleys of Guiyang.
  9. Companies that cooperate with Guiyang early in development of AV technology will be leaders in the AV industry as it expands.
  10. Guiyang will grow a world class technology community, the Guiyang Tech Village.

See the following links for background:

About Guiyang, Guizhou, and www.TourGuizhou.com
2017 Big Data Expo
Big Data and AV in Guiyang
2017 Expo Announcement
Technical Background

Big Data and Automated Vehicles in Guiyang

Automated Vehicle Technology in Guiyang

The City of Guiyang has, knowingly or not, positioned itself perfectly for entry into the Automated Vehicle market. Through the creation of the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) system connected to a State of the Art bullet train station, a publicly controlled space which can control all vehicles entering and leaving the system has been created.

The train station (Beizhan) is a multimodal transport system with cars, buses, bullet trains, and even express busses to the airport. The BRT utilizes a dedicated bus lane which is one of three traffic lanes on the Number 2 Ring Road (#2RR) which circles Guiyang through proximate suburban developments. While operating at a relatively slow speed, the BRT has reduced cross-town transit times by approximately two thirds or more, depending on traffic. There are no stop lights on the #2RR and the dedicated lane greatly reduces the traffic jams to which buses are subjected along with private vehicles. The system operates with a high degree of efficiency despite “cheaters” who are drivers that are willing to accept a large number of traffic tickets for using the bus lane for their private vehicles.

AV market has exploded in western countries, particularly Europe and the USA, with increasing interest from China and the East.  With all the money and interest, widespread use of AV has been stymied to a degree by the insecurity of the public to share the road with driverless cars. While technical issues remain, the biggest obstacle to AV isn’t technical, but rather political and social. Governments are simply not willing to subject their constituencies to the perceived risk of driverless cars. Computer controlled vehicles sharing public roads private vehicles (with occasionally irrational or careless drivers) is deemed unacceptable to all parties. Nevertheless, Elon Musk, of Tesla and SpaceX fame has suggested that the safety record of computer controlled cars will display about 10 percent of the accidents of human controlled. Tesla claims that a driverless care will travel from California to New York within the year (2017).

Even more interesting, the Guiyang Big Data Expo is May 25 to May 28. Big Data is the next big thing in computer technology. The auto industry represents the second biggest consumer expenditure in the world (housing being the first).  The AV technology requires more research and a good location to perfect this technology. It is a data intensive application in the world’s second biggest consumer industry. This Big Data Conference could be a “breakout” for Guiyang and the AV Industry.

The Beizhan “multimodal” Train Station has a controlled bus maneuvering area connected to a controlled ring road around Guiyang. It is an ideal physical and political environment for development of Automated Vehicles, one of the biggest Big Data applications on the horizon. This will be an interesting conference.

See: http://www.tourguizhou.com/guiyang-automated-vehicle-project/

Big Data Conference of Guiyang had VR 3D Glasses

My students Wang Min and Bai Zhong Jun attended the conference and helped me talk to the exhibitors. 20160525_155235Wang Min loved to play with the Virtual Reality Three Dimensional Glasses.  When you view the world through these glasses, it takes you to a differenct world and a different reality.  When you turn your body around, you are looking at a different world behind you, but in fact you are standing in the middle of a conference.

 

Big Data Comes to Guiyang

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Photo taken the day prior to opening day.

From May 25 to May 29, a Guiyang hosted the China Big Data Industry Summit and China ECommerce Innovation and Develpment Summit. I attended the confernce with two of my students.  Wang Min is a student studying Hospitality Manageent at Guizhou Normal University and Bai Zhong Jun is a student of Software Engineering at Guizhou University.

Sign advertising the event

Sign advertising the event

These signs are everywhere in Guiyang.

These signs are everywhere in Guiyang.

The Big Data Conference in Guiyang brought companies from all over China and from around the world. Companies that were represented include:

  • Amazon
  • AliBaba
  • Huawei
  • Huipu
  • Dell
  • Microsoft
  • Qualcomm
  • Foxcomm
  • Hewett Packard
  • Baidu
  • Tencent
  • Jingdong
  • Tellhow
  • Teamsun
  • Scistor

The Big Data Conference had good attendence by State Owned Businesses which can provide services and financing to companies with interesting projects, projects that can employ Guiyang’s technical labor force. A small stream can grow to a river and an ocean. Guizhou Province of China aspires to become the “Big Data Valley” of China. The private and public comapnies represented here suggest that this is very feasible.