March 26, 2020
NTT Corporation (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President & CEO: Jun Sawada; hereinafter “NTT”) has undertaken the research and development of “4D digital platform™”. It integrates various sensing data such as humans, things and environments in real time into high-precision spatial information, enabling fusion with various industries’ platforms and the construction of future predictions.
4D digital platform would be one of the key elements of Digital Twin Computing, a part of NTT’s Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN) initiative.1, 2
We intend to leverage NTT R&D and NTT Group technologies and assets toward sequential commercialization beginning in FY2021, with future expansion through ongoing R&D efforts.
As advocated in the Society 5.0 concept proposed by Japan’s Council for Science, Technology and Innovation and the Cabinet Office in the 5th Science and Technology Basic Plan, the collection of data from a broad range of sources and their integration and analysis in a digital space—the merging of physical and cyber space—could contribute to the resolution of social issues and the creation of value.
NTT’s Digital Twin Computing initiative also aims to achieve not only extremely advanced and profound communications, but large-scale, high-accuracy predictions and simulations of the future. This would be achieved by exchanging, converging, replicating and synthesizing highly precise digital information reflecting real-world objects such as things, humans and societies.
However, in the linkage of sets of statistical data or the matching of misaligned position and time data, there are cases in which the accuracy of future predictions cannot be heightened. With an eye toward societal implementation, the issue is the collection of sensing data in real time, and the matching and fusing of the position and time with a high degree of accuracy.
Our proposed 4D digital platform would resolve this by making it possible to precisely integrate position and time information from sensing data while also providing latitude, longitude, height and time data useful in future predictions.
As shown in Fig. 1, 4D digital platform integrates sensing data in real time into the Advanced Geospatial Information Database with its highly precise and abundant semantic information, and performs a variety of high-speed analyses.
4D digital platform enables the integration of various sensing data on spatial information while ensuring the consistency of position and time information, and linkage with data from ICT platforms of various industries. This makes it possible to accurately ascertain the position of moving objects and to construct a variety of predictions, thereby offering the value shown in Fig. 2.
NTT will promote R&D activities related to the technologies necessary for 4D digital platform toward sequential commercialization beginning in FY2021. In parallel with this, from FY2020, NTT will undertake the development of Advanced Geospatial Information Database in the collaboration with ZENRIN (Head Office: Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka; President & CEO: Zenshi Takayama) by leveraging high-precision map development know-how.4
Furthermore, beginning in FY2020, NTT will collaborate in the development of an infrastructure management platform with NTT InfraNet (Head Office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; President: Yoshihiro Kuroda), Proof-of-Concept for building and city block management with NTT Urban Solutions (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President & CEO: Hiroshi Nakagawa) and Proof-of-Concept for social infrastructure solutions with NTT DATA (Head Office: Koto-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director, President and Chief Executive Officer: Yo Honma).
As part of the Digital Twin Computing initiative, we will promote initiatives toward the use of 4D digital platform across a range of industries together with partners from various fields and customers.
In addition, we would promote R&D for the precise sensing of the land using an optical lattice clock proposed by Professor Hidetoshi Katori with the Graduate School of Engineering,5 The University of Tokyo (UTokyo, H.Q.: Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, President: Makoto Gonokami, concurrently Chief Scientist at the RIKEN Center) and an ultra-high precision optical frequency fiber network jointly developed by the NTT Group with the University of Tokyo and RIKEN, as well as by leveraging NTT’s telephone office and fiber network.6
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