Partner spotlight: IBM, Mercedes, Allied Telesis, Microsoft, MasterCard

Scroll down for short takes from Council partners…

New IBM emergency management solution helps cities prepare
Through its strategic alliance with The Weather Company, Council Lead Partner IBM announced a new emergency management solution that features sophisticated analytics and the use of real-time weather data to help communities more accurately predict and plan for natural disasters so they can deploy the right resources in advance. With estimates that natural catastrophes in 2014 cost $110 billion and claimed 7,700 lives worldwide, the ability to better predict and plan for emergencies can have profound impact.  IBM's new Intelligent Operations Center (IOC) for Emergency Management collects historical and sensor data from a variety of sources, and applies deep analytics, data visualization and real-time collaboration to help agencies coordinate and manage response efforts during natural disasters, common emergencies and incidents. By integrating weather data into its IOC, Council Lead Partner IBM says local governments and emergency response organizations will be able to increase their lead time, activate rapid response and utilize scenario planning.

Automated parking pilot: Mercedes with a built-in valet
A revolution in parking is on the way, if a joint pilot between Daimler, Bosch and car2go is any indication. "In collaboration with our partner Bosch and our mobility service car2go we are developing and testing an infrastructure-based solution for a fully automated valet parking service," said Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. Mercedes-Benz is a Council Lead Partner. "For us another step on our way to autonomous driving – or as in this case: towards autonomous parking," he added.  Automated parking is made possible thanks to an intelligent infrastructure in the car park and a vehicle control unit from Bosch in conjunction with the newest generation of Mercedes-Benz on-board sensors and the car-sharing expertise of car2go. This enables automated maneuvering in appropriately equipped parking garages in the near future. So it's not the customer who parks and searches for their car; the vehicle drives to a free space independently and drives up comfortably by itself again.

Allied Telesis rolls out powerful new safety solution
Council Lead Partner Allied Telesis, a global provider of secure IP/Ethernet switching solutions and industry leader in the deployment of IP Triple Play networks, recently launched Envigilant™ Systems.  Envigilant is a customizable, resilient and integrated safety solution for customers. It provides the mechanism for connecting applications, not just devices, to provide customers with a real-time view of what is happening in a facility or surrounding area at any time. The application areas for such a system are endless, Allied said, but could include waste facilities; port, airport or customs facilities; public spaces such as stadiums or schools; logistics centers or transportation facilities.

Microsoft app predicts air quality in China
Pollution is a serious problem in China, where Council Lead Partner Microsoft has launched the Your Weather mobile app to help users prepare for air quality problems. The app uses data analytics and computer modeling to predict air quality two days in advance.  At a glance, users can see the pollution and weather customized to their location. Just launched for Android phones, an iOS version is expected soon. A Windows Phone version launched a few months back has 150,000 users, according to a TechWorld report.

From Ukraine to Chile, MasterCard technology makes life easier
Kyiv recently became the fifth city in the world with terminals in its subway system that enable transit riders to use their MasterCard to make contactless payments, according to the Kyiv Post. That means cardholders can bypass lines to buy tokens and passes.  The only other cities with the payment turnstiles are London, St. Petersburg, Chicago and Bucharest, the Post said.  Kyiv is Ukraine's capital and largest city and its subway system is used by millions daily.  Meanwhile, a different technology – Council Lead Partner MasterCard's Qkr! App is being introduced in Chile, where stadium goers can use it to put in concession orders. The app, intended to make online purchases faster and more secure, is mainly used in schools, stadiums and cinemas but may expand into the fast-food realm.

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