Tokyo Metro’s Digital Twin Could Help Commuters in Easy Navigation

  • Digital Twin for Tokyo’s Metro: Engineers at Tokyo Smart City Studio create a proof-of-concept digital twin of Tokyo’s metro system.
  • Urban Navigation Simplified: The digital twin, developed in collaboration with various institutions, aims to streamline commutes and aid city planning in Tokyo, known for its complex metro network.
  • Real-time Train Data Visualization: The app analyzes real-time train data, offering commuters a 3D rendering of the Tokyo Metro, enabling them to select lines, check arrival times, and track trains along their routes.
  • ArcGIS Maps SDK Integration: The digital twin app utilizes ArcGIS Maps SDK for real-time analytics, 3D rendering of city buildings, and combining live feeds with static data for precise information on train locations, delays, and arrival times.
  • Rapid Development with ArcGIS: The project, developed within a month, benefited from the evolving capabilities of ArcGIS software, easing the development process by supporting essential 3D features without extensive coding.
  • Multi-System Monitoring: Digital twins like the Tokyo Metro prototype could extend beyond transportation, offering operational views of various city systems, including traffic, utilities, policing, and weather, facilitating holistic urban management and problem-solving.
Tokyo Metro's Digital Twin Could Help Commuters in Easy Navigation
Tokyo Metro’s Digital Twin Could Help Commuters in Easy Navigation (Credit: Unreal Engine)

A group of engineers has successfully created a proof-of-concept digital replica of Tokyo’s intricate metro system, aimed at assisting residents in monitoring and optimizing their daily commutes.

Tokyo, renowned for having one of the most bustling and densely populated metro areas globally, poses challenges in urban planning and day-to-day navigation. The team embarked on the ambitious task of digitizing the city’s train data to showcase the potential of digital tools in simplifying the daily commutes of both residents and city planners.

This groundbreaking proof-of-concept was crafted by the Tokyo Smart City Studio, based in Georgia Tech’s Eco Urban Lab, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Tokyo’s Department of Urban Engineering, Keio University, and the Global Carbon Project office in Tsukuba, Japan.

Realtime visualisation of Tokyo Metro (Source: LinkedIn/Sajit Thomas)
Realtime visualisation of Tokyo Metro (Source: LinkedIn/Sajit Thomas)

Digital Twin Revolutionizes Tokyo Metro

The digital twin application leverages real-time train data to provide a comprehensive visualization of the Tokyo Metro. Commuters can easily select a specific line, view arrival times for the upcoming train at each station, and track the progress of any train along its designated route.

Sajit Thomas, the mastermind behind the app, said, “The project was established to demonstrate how real-time train data can be combined with train schedules to create a digital twin of the Tokyo train system.”

The app employs advanced real-time analytics tools and harnesses the rendering capabilities and animations offered by ArcGIS Maps SDK, a digital map-building software developed by Esri, a leading information system software company.

Utilizing advanced technologies, the application generates a three-dimensional representation of the city’s structures. By integrating live data streams with static information sourced from the Public Transportation Open Data Center for Tokyo Metro, the app showcases real-time details regarding train positions, arrival schedules, and any potential delays.

“With every new release of ArcGIS software, new capabilities are added,” Thomas said. “The project was envisioned and developed within a month. The capabilities in the latest version of ArcGIS made the process of development easier because the API supported many of the 3D capabilities required to build a digital twin without writing a whole lot of code.”

“Digital twins like the Tokyo Metro one could be deployed to monitor various systems in the city, from public transportation including trains and buses to traffic, utilities, sanitation, pollution,  policing and even weather,” he added. “Typically, a digital twin provides an operational view of one system in the city and where problems are occurring. 

“The goal is to have a digital twin that provides an operational view of multiple systems in the city and how the problems from one system impact the other systems and the overall cascading effect on the city.”

The interdisciplinary initiative at Georgia Tech aims to equip students with expertise in urban design. The program focuses on cultivating skills to create intelligent city solutions that contribute to the sustainable development of Tokyo. Emphasis is particularly placed on the development of geospatial tools within this context.

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Source(s): IoT World Today

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