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Dec 15 | Insights

Creating a Digital Twin for virtual policy testing

A research institution in the city of Daejeon, South Korea, is to create a digital twin of the city that aims to act as an environment for carrying out virtual testing on administrative policies without the risk of harming the city’s actual infrastructure.

Digital twins are used by researchers as testing grounds for a range of activities to see what results they produce without causing irreversible damage in real life. One of the advantages is that if the clone is damaged beyond repair then a new one can be created without incurring massive costs.

The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) revealed in a statement that they had signed a memorandum with the city of Daejeon to create the digital twin, giving city officials the ability to test new road infrastructure, predict results and apply new policies that cover health, education and social welfare.

Plans do not stop there; it is the intention to eventually turn Daejeon into a smart business city. Mayor of Daejeon, Heo Tae-Jeong said: “We will solve city problems and upgrade civil services using the latest technologies such as artificial intelligence, information communication technology and digital twin.”

Digital twin technology has already been adopted by some major companies in South Korea such as SK Telecom, one of the top mobile carriers. They entered a partnership with Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, a state nuclear power plant operator, to create virtual clones of nuclear power plants. The reasoning behind the exercise was to collect data to be used in increasing the energy efficiency and durability of the power plants.

Hyundai also developed a digital twin for vehicle development, allowing them to modify and test out new designs as well as other mechanical features.