A Data-centric Approach to Sustainable Data Accessibility in Smart Cities

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Presented by

François Thibodeau, ing (Technical Advisor - Systems Engineering / Montréal Urban Planning Service)

About this talk

Six years ago, the City of Montreal faced challenges when initiating a pilot program for live traffic data collection. These critical data are produced by equipment (traffic light controllers, users counters/detectors, and LED displays) installed and maintained by the city. However, the data was housed in compartmentalized, often outdated systems, which led to inaccessibility and non-existing data ingestion processes. Montréal's Urban Planning Service (SUM) was tasked with identifying a new architecture to address the growing complexity of data management and system interface definitions that could integrate various data sources and enable the required scalability. The SUM needed to answer the fundamental question of 'How do we prepare for tomorrow's technologies without knowing the orientation's outcome?' For example, vehicle electrification and automation will challenge public organization expertise in ways not yet known. The new system architecture would need to be able to maintain and expand the system, over an extensive period of 25 years or more. The answer lies in a new data-centric approach, based on the OMG's Data Distribution Service (DDS) standard. The SUM implemented this new architecture in 2021, which completely decoupled the data from legacy systems, enabling interoperability at its most efficient level. François graduated in 1997 with a BS in electrical engineering from the École de Technologie Supérieure. He now works for the city of Montreal and is widely recognized for his expertise in the design and integration of data systems in the field of transportation. François promotes the city's open architecture policies in connection with the data centric approach, thus allowing interoperability and control of system governance. He promotes an approach based on maintainability and the integrity of the data flowing between systems, thus ensuring the sustainability and scalability of systems.

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The Object Management Group® (OMG®) is an international, open membership, not-for-profit technology standards consortium. Founded in 1989, OMG standards are driven by vendors, end-users, academic institutions, and government agencies.