The digital representation of any physical object or system has become possible with the use of digital twin technology. Originally focused in the manufacturing sector, digital twin technology has expanded to include large objects such as buildings, and even cities, and has the potential to extend even further. In addition, digital twins are merging with advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and data analytics to offer holistic ecosystem views now and into the future.
Siradel is a company known for its 3D digital twins of cities and its large portfolio of smart city solutions that help in building smarter, more collaborative, resilient and sustainable cities and territories. By creating 3D digital twins using its world-class geodata production capabilities, aggregating geo-referenced data, cross-correlating data, running simulations to envision future scenarios and visualizing any and all of the above in 3D, Siradel offers a unique capability in connecting the physical, digital and virtual worlds. Below are highlights of the interview conducted between Insights Success and Siradel CEO Laurent Bouillot:
What led to the inception of Siradel?
In 1994, when Laurent finished his thesis on the theme of wave propagation at Insa (National Institute of Applied Science), in Rennes, France, he quickly set out on a solo adventure. At the time, he had only one thing in mind: to start his own business. Laurent and his wife, Marielle, founded Siradel – Si for simulation, ra for radar and del for electromagnetic diffraction – an engineering company working in the fields of radar and radio communications. Initially, the company was focused around military applications, however, Laurent envisioned large potential in the civilian, mobile communications world and pivoted the company in that direction. In addition to software solutions focused on radio propagation and planning, Siradel produces high-quality digital maps and, over the last decade, has applied its expertise to provide concrete, efficient solutions to address and solve city and municipality operational, sustainability and resiliency issues. With its success across the above domains, Siradel was acquired by the ENGIE Group (a global, leading sustainable energy provider (160,000 people, $65B USD)) in 2016. Today, Siradel is present in 60 countries with 250 customers across telecom operators, OEMs, R&D/engineering firms, municipalities and territories.
Describe Siradel’s advanced smart city solutions which enhance the living experience of its customers.
Siradel’s offer encompasses a large portfolio of Smart City solutions to help build smarter sustainable territories including 3D Digital Twins and collaborative Smart City platforms.
Aggregating all the territory’s data (geo referenced data, urban sensors, socio-economic databases, buildings, environmental or climatic data) in a single, interactive and evolutive referential, Digital Twins allow all stakeholders, including elected representatives or citizens, to better understand and transform their territory. Allowing the collaboration of all stakeholders in a cross-entity/transversal way, Siradel 3D Digital Twins are a unique tool to visualize the city as an entire ecosystem and to anticipate and manage crisis situations with resilience.
Coupled with the Siradel Smart City Explorer platform which offers advanced simulation and visualization capabilities, the Digital Twin becomes a powerful tool to assist cities in their operation and development by allowing better:
- Understanding of a territory via a comprehensive and transversal vision of all its challenges
- Assessment of the impact of future transformations by simulating and comparing different scenarios
- Decision-making between all the projects’ stakeholders to optimize planning and pool resources
- Communication and promotion of the territory and its transformation projects using 3D visualization.
How are the company’s data management, 3D modelling, and simulation and visualization solutions more advanced comparatively to the other companies’ solutions?
Siradel’s solutions unique character comes from the fact that it doesn’t only sell a product or software, but that it provides its customers with a complete solution from 3D Digital Twin production to data collection and exploitation in an operational Smart City platform. Relying on its transversal approach, Siradel’s Smart City Explorer (SCE) platform helps city stakeholders to visualize, aggregate, customize, share and bring significantly more value to their data. Also, developed around a plugin-based architecture, the SCE platform allows 3rd-party simulation software and other computational tools to be integrated and used in an interactive way. Therefore, a large range of urban challenges such as lighting, resiliency, energy, carbon emission reduction, solar potential, security, 5G and small cell deployments, multi-modal mobility, well-being, sustainability and many more topics can be addressed in a single, unique powerful tool, accessible to all.
Give a detailed description of the featured person’s influence over the company and the industry.
As CEO of the Siradel, Laurent Bouillot has led the company since its inception, leading and directing all organizational domains. His current, main focus is formulating and positioning the company strategy as well as continuing to drive the company to be at the forefront of innovation.
At an industry level, Laurent’s leadership has influenced many city/territory/municipality leaders over the past decade with advanced solutions, efficient methodologies, KPI establishment and cost-effective projects for addressing urban transformation, sustainability and resiliency.
He is an authority on Digital Twin creation aspects and has and continues to articulate the value that transversal solutions offer to the industry. He is often invited to speak at smart city conferences.
An example of Laurent’s recent influence is in Siradel’s success with Angers Loire Metrople where Siradel is producing the territory’s 3D Digital Twin and guiding the adoption of essential project objectives, defined by Laurent as:
- Study different urban transformation scenarios by simulating the impact of the installation of new infrastructures on energy consumption, pollution or mobility
- Support decisions of elected representatives, allow coconstruction between citizens, public services and elected representatives and facilitate communication
- Create a data management platform to optimize the Metropole’s performance.
Describe, in detail, about the values that drive the company.
From the start of the company, innovation and customer centricity have been key values that have driven the company’s direction and success. To that extent, Laurent has always promoted the use of creative, innovative solutions to help customers meet their objectives and to solve current and future challenges whether it be for reduced carbon emissions, cost-reduced operations or unique, new solutions. The concept of transversality is also a key value as this aspect enables envisioning an ecosystem of solutions and data utilization across a customer’s jurisdiction.
How are Siradel’s solutions contributing in the advancement of the global smart city planning and management industry?
Siradel solutions have, and continue, to demonstrate to the global smart city industry the importance of accurate digital twins, key KPI establishment and the efficient use of and standardization of techniques for data management across a city or territory. As noted previously, Siradel continues to promote innovation and the incorporation of artificial intelligence into its solutions enabling development of new cost-effective solutions for the smart city industry. Additionally, the numerous, global smart city references Photo credit: Region lle-de-France that Siradel already has in place, provide the industry with important examples of replicable solutions for other cities to emulate and follow.
What technologies is the company leveraging to make its solutions resourceful?
Using data coming from a variety of sources such as aerial imagery, satellite and aerial/terrestrial LiDAR and advanced AI-based GIS production techniques, Siradel is able to deliver highly accurate, realistic digital models of cities and territories inclusive of buildings, urban furniture, roads, vegetation and more with precision up to a few centimeters. By aggregating geo-referenced datasets in a single repository with the city maps, the company creates Digital City Twins. With the use of Siradel’s Smart City Explorer platform, Siradel uses self-created or integrated 3rd-party tools and aggregated data sets to simulate numerous scenarios for intelligent decision-making. Furthermore, these simulation results can be visualized in 3D and communicated to any stakeholder via various media including PC, web, tablet, AR and VR.
What are the company’s future aspirations? What strategies is it undertaking to achieve those goals?
The world is constantly evolving and Siradel continues to innovate and adapt its solutions for new city and territory requirements. Most recently, with the advent of the COVID-19 situation, Siradel rapidly adapted its platform to assist with associated pandemic crisis management. In the space of 2 weeks, Siradel co-developed 2 specific applications with the Paris Region and 50+ private and public partners to insure suppliers and healthcare workers were able to immediately communicate about precious inventories and to insure that more than 400 hundred organizations could provide needed services to citizens and businesses. These services were built on top of Europe’s largest smart city platform in the Paris Region where Siradel provides the 3D Digital Twin and its Smart City Explorer solution covering 12 million inhabitants and 2.5M buildings and incorporating more than 10,000 datasets.
Looking forward, Siradel continues to work closely with cities to assist them in their digital transformation and rapid deployment of new solutions adapted to their specific characteristics and challenges. One such example is the opening of Siradel’s Smart City Lab in the South of France to collaborate with the cities and universities of the Region on innovative smart territory projects related to the impacts of climate change (floods, heat islands, sea level, etc.). And certainly, with new use cases related to new 5G wireless networks, green mobility, access to nature, resiliency and sustainability, Siradel will continue to innovate and enable delivery of the next generation of smart city services.