Now in operation in McKinley Hill, the property giant’s Township Analytics and Technology (TAT) Lab is spearheading the development of next-generation townships across the country
Pioneering township developer Megaworld Corporation is investing in the utilization of data science and artificial intelligence as it continues to build smarter and future-ready townships developments across the country through its Township Analytics and Technology Lab (TAT Lab), the very first data science lab in the Philippines to be spearheaded by a property development company.
Headquartered within Megaworld’s 50-hectare McKinley Hill township in Taguig City, TAT Lab is focused on increasing the level of safety and security in Megaworld townships nationwide by developing, deploying, and improving machine learning models and utilizing artificial intelligence as a technology enabler
“Megaworld’s commitment to building next-generation townships that are safer, more secure, enjoyable, and sustainable is evident with the establishment of our very own data science lab. Our residents, locators, visitors, and partners stand to benefit from the various innovative programs to be spearheaded by TAT Lab, which are all aimed at creating better experiences in and around our townships,” says Francis Viernes, Chief Data Scientist and Lab Director of TAT Lab and head of Data Analytics, Megaworld.
A safer, more secure township for all
One of the programs already deployed by TAT Lab is an advanced accident detection system, which is designed to detect road accidents seconds before it happens to trigger a faster, more efficient incident response.
“In many road incidents, the difference in response time between someone reporting a vehicular accident and an AI program detecting it, for example, may mean a matter of life and death. This AI-powered accident detection system will be one of the several programs that we will be rolling out in Megaworld townships soon to make our developments more responsive to the future needs of our communities,” Viernes says.
TAT Lab’s accident detection system recently won the Innovation Award at the annual ASEAN Innovation Business Platform (AIBP) Enterprise Innovation Awards for leading the way in emerging digital innovations using AI in the region.
Location-specific weather reports
Another program is the Township-Specific Weather Analytics and Monitoring implemented in partnership with Komunidad, the leader in climate data analytics in Asia. The program aims to help make Megaworld townships more resilient by providing localized and more accurate climate information to help residents and locators plan their day-to-day activities more efficiently.
“Unlike other weather analysis providers, our township weather analytics sends out advice to people within our townships about the specific time rain is going to pour, for example, in McKinley Hill as opposed to just having a generic weather analysis for the entire Taguig City,” Viernes says.
A steady stream of innovative programs
Located within the TAT Lab headquarters is the Megaworld Command Center, a state-of-the-art surveillance facility capable of monitoring and consolidating situation reports across all of Megaworld’s townships nationwide. The Command Center is run by both TAT Lab and Megaworld’s Estate group, with the latter handling its operations.
“The Megaworld Command Center represents our commitment to promoting business continuity within our townships even amidst natural or man-made calamities. The proximity of TAT Lab to the Megaworld Command Center will ensure that machine learning models deployed across our townships are working properly and generating the appropriate information for our data scientists that will help make our developments safer and more secure for everyone,” says Don Earl Caagbay, head of Estate Management, Megaworld.
Other programs that will be rolled out soon by TAT Lab include township geographic assessment with real-time traffic information, as well as advanced security monitoring programs aimed at implementing additional layers of security and protection for residential condominiums, offices, malls, hotels, and other major components of Megaworld townships.
In the future, more data science and technology programs will be employed in various aspects across Megaworld’s townships, including risks, traffic, security, utilities, waste disposal, and sustainability.
Aside from the recognition from AIBP, Megaworld clinched top prizes from World Business Outlook Awards 2023, namely ‘Best Real Estate Company,’ ‘‘Most Innovative Real Estate Company,’ and ‘Most Sustainable Real Estate Developer’ in the Philippines.
In 2018, Megaworld embarked on a groundbreaking campaign to future-proof its developments with the introduction of its iTownships initiative. The program was aimed at creating ‘townships of the future’ by integrating design, safety, smart technology, connectivity, energy efficiency, and talent development into the very blueprint of Megaworld’s township developments.
Among the projects implemented as part of iTownships include digitizing customer service and payment processes, integrating smart home technology in residential units, and utilizing digital technology and energy-efficient materials in structural designs. The program also included the creation of Township Operation Centers across all Megaworld developments, which maximizes 24/7 security and safety monitoring and emergency response in every township, as well as integrating urban art installations, creative pedestrian crosswalks, and smart parking system, including provision for electric vehicle charging in mall developments, among others.