West Java Advances Smart City Goals with Elitery Chatbot and CCTV Solutions on AWS

Executive Summary

AWS Smart City Partner Elitery helped the West Java Provincial Government develop a COVID-19 chatbot to provide real-time answers to pandemic-related queries and launch a machine learning (ML)–enabled closed-circuit television (CCTV) solution to improve traffic flow. As part of its Smart City program to improve the lives of West Java residents, the government empowered citizens in remote villages with real-time communication and enhanced safety on busy roads. Elitery introduced its integrated report information system, SiPANDU, which relies on databases stored in Amazon RDS and dashboards powered by Amazon QuickSight. West Java is also using Elivision, a CCTV monitoring system from Elitery that utilizes Amazon SageMaker to run ML algorithms.

Inclusive Approach to Citizen Engagement

West Java is the most densely populated province in Indonesia, with the majority of its population residing in rural areas. Communication can be challenging with remote dwellers, many of whom don’t have internet or phone lines at home. One of the province’s objectives on its journey to becoming a Smart City is to provide citizens with the technology and services they need to advance in their villages. “Our focus has shifted toward ensuring that our IT investments are inclusive to all citizens,” explains Setiaji, head of the Communication and Informatics Agency for the West Java Provincial Government.

At the start of the pandemic, the government needed a way to distribute information efficiently and respond to pressing public health questions to prevent the spread of the virus. Questions such as “Where should I go and what should I do if I have symptoms?” were common.

Setting up a call center would have taken several months, and downtime would have been a challenge due to the lack of robust telecommunications and IT infrastructure in the region. West Java needed a ready-to-use system to gather and disseminate data about public health conditions. The system had to be user-friendly for both government employees and the public.

Collaborates with AWS and Partners to Drive Transformation

To accelerate its digital transformation, West Java relies on its business and technology partners. Elitery is an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Advanced Consulting Partner that provides managed services in the cloud. It is also an AWS Smart City Partner and has developed several data-driven Smart City solutions that are native to AWS yet can be used with a legacy data center environment for organizations such as West Java.

“We recognize that governments can't do everything on their own; it takes partnerships and collaboration,” Setiaji says. “We are actively looking to outsource some of our development and project work to AWS and its partners so we can move at an even faster pace when introducing our new digital public services. This is very useful for public sector institutions, where budget and staffing are limited.”

West Java had already developed several citizen engagement apps on AWS, such as its Sapawarga app used to transmit information between the elected heads of villages and the provincial government. A solution built in AWS was thus a natural choice to solve the pressing communication challenge during the pandemic. “AWS provides proven, secure solutions in terms of the range of available technologies, which allows us to allocate our energy and resources to developing content and services for the community rather than managing infrastructure,” adds Setiaji.

Launches a User-Friendly FAQ on WhatsApp

Elitery developed the integrated report information system application called SiPANDU as a two-way reporting tool between the public and the government. Other divisions of the government, such as the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia, have already implemented SiPANDU for separate use cases. And Elitery proposed a SiPANDU chatbot based in WhatsApp to answer pandemic-related questions in West Java.

The SiPANDU chatbot is programmed with a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and their associated answers. Citizens send messages to a designated phone number in WhatsApp and then receive real-time information based on their menu selection. For example, they may be instructed to press 1 to find a testing location in their area or press 2 to apply for relief aid. Submenus direct them to more specific information.

Elitery developed the SiPANDU chatbot using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances with AWS Lambda event-driven code that moves users through their menu selection.                                      

It utilizes Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) for storage and Amazon QuickSight to power dashboards on the backend. West Java officials employ the dashboards and associated charts to see the activity levels that each topic and question in the FAQs list generates.

Flexible Solution with Quick Time to Market

Since its launch in May 2020, the SiPANDU chatbot has been accessed more than 150,000 times, with an average of 6,000 users per month. More than 40 percent of the population in Indonesia already use WhatsApp, so citizens don’t have to install new applications or access a computer to get answers to their urgent questions. West Java citizens, even those in remote areas, can reach out virtually to the government using their mobile phones and gain easy access to healthcare information. Elitery estimates that the automated FAQs list is saving West Java about 90 percent of the time and resources it would have taken to set up and run a call center.

With SiPANDU’s built-in analytics dashboards, West Java can visualize the number of people asking each question and amend the FAQs content accordingly. The government then works with Elitery to update the FAQs list at least twice a month, adding more details to complement popular questions and ensuring that submenus are organized to provide a natural, user-friendly flow of information.


Improves Traffic Congestion and Maintains Oversight on Busy Streets

Based on the success of the SiPANDU chatbot, West Java elected to work with Elitery on a second Smart City solution, this time for the West Java Provincial Transportation Agency. Known as the Elivision CCTV solution, or SiPANON, the solution specializes in traffic monitoring and analytics.

To improve traffic congestion on busy streets and maintain oversight on all roads, Elitery installed four CCTV cameras connected to dashboards on Amazon QuickSight. ML models running in Amazon SageMaker detect traffic anomalies, such as when a vehicle is driving against the flow of traffic or when a bus is idling illegally on the road. The analytics dashboard also detects the quantity and types of vehicles on a street at any given time and uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to store CCTV reels and images.

Before the SiPANON monitoring system, West Java Provincial Government personnel did not have an overview of what was happening on the streets. With 5,312 dispersed villages, it was virtually impossible for the government to manage all roads and staff busy areas with traffic officials. But now, they can monitor live feeds from key intersections and act in near real-time to resolve traffic jams.

After receiving an alert from the system flagging a traffic issue, operators can make an announcement using a speaker placed near the camera or dispatch a work ticket to a traffic officer near the problematic site. Furthermore, dashboard analytics in SiPANON help determine traffic monitoring and analytic system rules, such as when to schedule roadwork and which days vehicles with odd-numbered license plates are allowed to drive. The Transportation Agency can better plan for regular road maintenance when it knows which streets have the heaviest traffic.

“The CCTV solution helps us create safer roads and make more informed decisions,” Setiaji says. The West Java Government is working toward the creation of several key Safe Corridors throughout the province, and two- way communication tools such as CCTV and SiPANDU will empower the next phase of their Smart City development.

Plans for New Dynamic Use Cases

The SiPANDU and SiPANON Smart City solutions are just the beginning of what’s possible with Elitery and AWS. Using the same technology, both solutions can expand for new use cases. SiPANDU can be used for interactive citizen reporting, for example, and the CCTV SiPANON solution can be trained to recognize license plates to aid police searches.

Setiaji concludes, “AWS and its partners provide comprehensive services to help develop Smart City solutions that meet our needs now and in the future. AWS and Elitery understand our mission to become a dynamic regional government through the digital transformation of public services.”

About the West Java Provincial Government

West Java is Indonesia’s most densely populated region. The West Java Provincial Government is pursuing a digital transformation to improve the lives of its citizens, make data- driven decisions, and become a dynamic regional administration with high levels of citizen engagement.

About Elitery

Elitery is an AWS Smart City Partner in Indonesia that offers managed services for the cloud in addition to disaster recovery, backups, and other solutions. The company serves more than 100 enterprise clients in the public and private sectors.