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Stories Asia

Traffic and Azure: Drive across the world’s longest sea bridge and park with help from the cloud

Wilson Parking launches a digital solution for drivers using the new Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge

It’s 55 kilometers long, was three decades in the making, and cost around US$20 billion to build. The brand-new Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is a modern-day marvel that has forever changed traffic patterns across one of Asia’s fast-growing areas.

Recent estimates say daily volume on the world’s longest sea bridge will reach 29,100 vehicles by 2030 and 42,000 in 2037.

To meet an anticipated jump in demand, Wilson Parking has launched an innovative digital solution in the cloud. Drivers can now pre-book parking spaces at the Hong Kong section through a dedicated website. The aim is to provide a seamless parking experience and smooth traffic flows.

The bridge, which includes an undersea tunnel section, links the territories of Hong Kong and Macau with 11 cities on the Chinese mainland – a region collectively dubbed as the Greater Bay Area. It was opened in October and is expected to be in service for as long as 200 years.

Wilson Parking said it built its solution on Azure, Microsoft’s enterprise-grade cloud computing platform, because of its reputation for scalability and security.

“Customer focus is our company’s value and we aim to provide convenient and user-friendly pre-book parking services to parkers through innovation and technology applications anytime, anywhere,” a spokesman said.

Wilson Parking thinks both traffic and demand for parking spots are expected to surge now the bridge is operational. Adapting to this while maintaining high availability and performance for the drivers represents a “big challenge”.

Azure provides a highly stable and secure foundation for the digital parking solution and Microsoft and Wilson Parking are exploring how they might expand their partnership to take in artificial intelligence (AI) and big data capabilities that could perform demand forecasting and data mining.

Microsoft Hong Kong’s General Manager Cally Chan said just as the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge connects the flow of people and vehicles from different cities, technology connects, facilitates and expedites synergies between people, logistics and capital flows in the Greater Bay Area.

“Microsoft is uniquely positioned to help Wilson Parking and other companies in the region to succeed in their digital transformation journeys through our agile platforms and solutions that prioritize flexibility, integration, and trust,” she said. “Microsoft Azure offers flexibility and on-demand solutions to meet Wilson Parking’s changing needs.”

Azure’s infrastructure can host huge amounts of data simultaneously, so it is providing Wilson Parking with a wide array of configurable security options and the ability to control them, she said. Wilson Parking can also customize security to meet its unique requirements.