MEGAWORLD Corp. has opened a data science laboratory within its 50-hectare McKinley Hill township in Taguig City.

In a media release, the company said that its Township Analytics and Technology Lab (TAT Lab) is the first data science lab in the Philippines to be spearheaded by a property developer.

“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,” said Megaworld TAT Lab Chief Data Scientist and Lab Director Francis Viernes in a statement on Friday.

The project is Megaworld’s investment in the use of data science and artificial intelligence (AI) as it continues to build “smarter and future-ready” township developments across the country.

“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,” said Mr. Viernes, who is also Megaworld head of data analytics.

The laboratory will mainly focus on increasing safety and security in Megaworld’s townships by “developing, deploying, and improving machine learning models and utilizing artificial intelligence as a technology enabler. “

Megaworld said one of the programs using AI is an accident-detection system that can detect road accidents seconds before it happens.

“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,” he said.

The company will also deploy a location-specific weather program that aims to provide residents and locators with localized and more accurate climate information.

“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,” he added.

The laboratory headquarters will also house the Megaworld Command Center, a surveillance facility capable of monitoring and consolidating situation reports across all the company’s townships. The facility will both be run by TAT Lab and the company’s estate group.

“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,” said Megaworld Head of Estate Management Don Earl Caagbay.

Meanwhile, the company is also planning to roll out its township geographic assessment, which has real-time traffic information and advanced security monitoring programs that will implement security and protection for the township.

“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,” the company said.

Megaworld closed unchanged at P2 per share on Friday. — Adrian H. Halili