By the year 2050, it’s estimated that two-thirds of the population will be living in urban areas. As a result, city infrastructures will have to change dramatically in order to cope with demand.
Thankfully, developments like artificial intelligence, the internet of things (IoT) and big data will lead to smart cities. Cities that think and react like a human brain. Here are Innovate UK’s predictions for the future of the city.

A Revolutionised Transport Network

We’re already seeing autonomous vehicles being tested by institutes like the Future Cities Catapult.

By 2050, this tech is likely to be the norm. Your journey will be spent catching up on work or
entertainment. The everyday hassle of finding a parking space will no longer be an issue. Your
vehicle will drop you at your location and find its own optimised space.

So what about public transport?

Public transport is going to be unrecognisable. The timetabled and scheduled services we have in place today will become a thing of the past. Instead we’ll see driverless pods transporting passengers to and from their destination. We’ll hail these in the same way we order an Uber today. The driverless pods will be connected so only the most efficient pod will pick you up. You won’t need to make a physical payment for these either. Your fare will be automatically calculated upon boarding and leaving by IoT tech linking the pod to your preferred payment method.

The highly efficient transport network will lead to lower car ownership figures. This, coupled with a switch to renewable energy, will lead to cleaner air and the creation of more open green spaces within cities.

Smart & Sustainable Buildings

Public buildings are set to become smarter and aware of their surroundings. They will monitor data in a bid to constantly improve themselves. They’ll use this data to run at optimum efficiency and also ensure each occupant is safe and comfortable.

Through the use of technology like solar windows, buildings will gather their own energy and
become entirely self-sufficient. If they have any energy left over, it’ll be offered to vehicles in the local area to ensure no one runs dry.

A New Kind of Shopping Experience

Augmented reality is likely to reshape our shopping experience. When shopping for clothing, we’ll be assigned an interactive mirror which shows what outfits would look like on us, they’ll let us customise items and even offer some intelligently selected alternatives. Stores will already know our size, preferences and upcoming social calendar. They will make relevant suggestions based upon this.

The Place of USMART in the Smart City

The key to a future city accessible and open to all is the need for shared data. USMART, the next generation sharing platform put forward by UrbanTide, offers just that. The simple, secure and scalable tool allows users from the public sector, private sector (including as well as developers) to unlock data and build smart communities. UrbanTide are is already working with organisations like the Future Cities Catapult on the development of smart cities, relevant policy- making, standard-setting and smart strategies. Find out more about USMART and how it can bolster cities of the future here.

If you’re interested in more future predictions like this, please subscribe to Innovate UK’s YouTube channel here.

Additionally, you can follow @InnovateUK on Twitter here or @UrbanTide here.

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