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  • Erika Agostinelli

Can we change human behaviour to reduce CO2 emission?

Updated: Sep 1, 2020

Climate change refers to global warming plus the large-scale shifts in weather patterns caused by the rising temperatures, driven by humans since the Industrial Revolution [1]. While, families and individuals are trying to contribute to the cause by reclycling, reducing the usage of plastic etc., Companies and Governments start to find their ways to tackle this issue.

In 2019, I was involved in one project as squad lead, to tackle this theme with Siemens which has committed to achieve a net zero-carbon footprint by 2030 with one clear goal: cutting CO2 in our production facilities in half by 2020.

This video summarise very welll what we have accomplished this engagement.

Quoting Mahran Meissner, Technology and Security IT Architect at Siemens: "[IBM] quickly got us into an IBM Garage workshop where we came together as one team strengthened by the diversity of ideas. Once we refined the idea for a CO2-friendly travel advisor, we were against a short and swift 6-week sprint to completion of a minimum viable product (MVP). Our goal was to make the drive from Munich to UK for the Goodwood’s Festival of Speed, the world’s largest motoring garden party, to garner wide attention to our project." [2]

We used three different technologies:

  1. IoT (Internet of things): Watson-branded BMW i8 electric car was outfitted with sensors to collect data on all the car’s activities, such as location, fuel consumption and battery levels.

  2. Artificial Intelligence component (Virtual assistant): Users could interact with a Virtual Assistant to book trips and ask for the most eco-friendly option by calculating the CO2 emission to drive from a specific place to another by using a specific travel option.

  3. Blockchain: the data collected through the IoT sensors and the Virtual Assistant were integrated with live and stored data from IBM Blockchain.

The Blockchain and the IoT team had already worked on their work packages separately and my job as a squad lead was to integrate these technologies to the Virtual Agent (VA) workstream. I have worked with Qiannan Gao, Data Scientist from our team (Data Science Elite) to create a VA in a record time that could cover the user stories that we aimed for.

The Result:

This was just the beginning for Siemens. It was a fantastic MVP (Minimum Viable Product) that demonstrated the capabilities of a highly motivated team and what we can achieve in only 6 weeks.

The AI-powered BMW i8 reached safely the Goodwood Festival of Speed event in July of 2019 :)



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