Innovate UK’s Predictions for our Cities of the Future
Over two thirds of the population will live in urban areas by 2050, which will cause a massive increase in demand for services. So what needs to change? Technological developments such as artificial intelligence and the internet of things will allow cities to become smart, almost thinking like a human brain, and changing the way that citizens interact.
So, what can we expect to change?
- Cities will become greener with less pollution
- Buildings will produce renewable energy through smart data
- High street shopping experiences will be more interactive offering a richer experience
- Seamless commuting – less queues and no delays!
We currently stand on the cusp of a transport revolution, with companies like Uber rooting themselves in popular culture and Tesla offering greener alternatives and self-driving cars. Tech like this has developed over three decades, and it will be the dawn of a big change in mobility – could we really have cars that drive us and park themselves?
We’ll see a change in personal transport, but public transport is where the most potential for innovation lies. Artificial Intelligence and linked technology could transform public transport through the use of driverless pods. These pods could replace buses and be ordered like an Uber using your personal device, picking you up and collecting others along the way.
This intelligent transport system could even replace the need for cars. They will be efficient and easy to use with a simple payment calculating system. The reduction in cars on our streets will result in cleaner air and more green spaces, making biking more accessible.
Smart buildings and sustainable cities
Public buildings such as schools, hospitals and workplaces will improve by becoming smarter, using technology to gather information from themselves and surrounding buildings. Developments like solar windows will allow buildings to create their own energy, and surplus energy will be shared between nearby buildings so that they never run dry! Buildings will run at optimum efficiency through accessing data that will keep their occupants healthy and safe by adjusting factors like room temperatures accordingly.
Augmented reality will be used in shops, transforming shopping experiences using AI and connected data. This will create interactive changing rooms that show you what clothes look like without even having to try them on! Imagine walking into a shop and it automatically knows your size, making suggestions based on your previous purchases. You will even be able to tweak the design of an outfit using an interactive mirror! Forget the disappointment of ‘not in stock’, drones will deliver items to you on the same day.
Going one step further than this, instead of going to the building you need to, let it come to you! Order a pod to take collect you with your favourite coffee on board, or use your smart schedule to book a touring dental pod for your dental check-up.
More time for you
Smarter cities will create more time for you, in your social life and at work. AI and connected services will automate things in the workplace, such as waste collection pods. But could this innovation in technology one day take over people’s employment? Hopefully not, but instead people will be able to focus on providing higher quality and more personal services where they are needed the most.