Thailand has launched its first smart city pilot in Phuket, with plans to improve public services and attract tech startups to the island.

This year, the Phuket will pilot sensor technologies and data analytics to improve transport and help police enforce traffic laws. Cameras will detect license plate numbers and track vehicles that break traffic rules.

The city will get a new operations centre to watch for natural disasters, tracking environmental data from sensors on land and at sea.

Thailand wants to use these government pilots to attract new businesses to the island. “The move is to pilot the platform so that local people can scale it up and do the maintenance on their own,” said Passakorn Phathombutr, Phuket Smart City’s Project Manager.

The one-year pilot has THB97 million (US$2.7 million) of funding. It is part of the government’s broader THB3.755 billion (US$105.2 million) Digital Economy vision to make Thailand a hub for digital businesses in ASEAN.