It’s estimated that over two thirds of our population will be living in urban areas by 2050. Our cities are going to have to adapt. With significant technological improvements to infrastructure, we’re likely to see a huge change in the way we interact with our urban environment. Artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things will allow cities to become more intelligent and potentially think like a human brain. Here are Innovate UK’s predictions for the cities of the future.
What Key Changes Can We Expect?
We can expect many things from the future of our cities though four key points stand out here:
- Cities will be greener with more walking/cycling space and less pollution
- Buildings will generate their own energy from renewable sources
- High street shopping will be interactive with the help of augmented reality
- Transport will be seamless with no delays or queuing
A Revolution for Personal and Public Transport
With self-driving cars, Uber’s easily accessible service and Tesla’s green approach to the automotive industry, it’s clear to see which direction the transport industry is heading. Though, how will this affect our lives in three decades’ time?
Imagine a commute where you can be entertained (or catch-up on important emails) during your journey to work. Your car will do the driving for you. You won’t have to hunt for a parking space any longer, your car will drop you off at your destination and find its own optimised space.
So what about public transport?
The potential use of artificial intelligence in public transport is huge. Instead of buses with set routes and timetables, you could order a public transport pod from your phone. You can hop on the pod and pick other passengers up on the way who are heading in the same direction.
The intelligence and efficiency of the transport system could even make car ownership obsolete. Smart payment technology could scan you as you enter and leave a vehicle, charging you the exact fare instantly. With less car ownership and a wider push towards renewable technologies, we’re likely to see cleaner city air, more open green space and more accessible biking.
Smart and Sustainable Buildings
Public buildings will become smart. This means, they’ll gather vital information from their usage, environment and other surrounding buildings to aide in constant improvement.
Solar windows will become a common way for buildings to gather energy. Any extra energy collected will be shared with the surrounding areas. Through the continual gathering of data, buildings will always run at optimum efficiency – this means they’ll be aware of their occupants, temperature requirements as well as the need for a healthy and safe environment.
A New Shopping Experience
The future shopping experience is likely to be a unique and exciting area of development. Upon entering a clothes shop, you’ll approach an interactive changing room. Through clever use of AI, the shop will already know your clothes size and offer suggested options similar to other items you’ve previously bought. They may even make recommendations to complement your upcoming calendar. Interactive mirrors will show how each outfit would look on you while drones can deliver items swiftly to your home if desired.
More Time for What Really Matters
Naturally, all this automation will give you more time to spend on the things that really matter. There’s a question that always lingers in the air around topics like this. Will it take over from peoples’ employment? Many consider the answer to be no, instead the focus will be on the quality of work and personal service people provide. Automation will simply give a helping hand in this.
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