New technology can improve our lives in a lot of different ways but often, it’s a personal thing. You’ve got a phone and smart home devices to automate things for you and make your life easier, but we don’t often think about the wider applications for that kind of technology. But these advancements are going to have a lot of wider effects outside of the home and they’ll start to improve our cities as a whole. These are just some of the ways that new technology is going to revolutionize cities in the next few decades.
Better Traffic Management
There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a traffic jam, crawling along for hours. You can avoid it a bit because your GPS will tell you where the gridlocks are and you can take another route. But still, you’re still going to get caught in traffic sometimes. But new technology offers a great fix for that problem.
One of the best smart city solutions that is being developed at the moment is the smart road. Roads that can monitor traffic levels and communicate with one another will be able to control the traffic lights and streamline the flow of traffic to reduce the number of traffic jams citywide. There is also research going into solar panel roads that will provide a huge amount of clean energy without taking up any extra space, which is one of the major hurdles we face with solar panels and wind turbines.
An internet connection is increasingly becoming a necessity for most people and, while you can get a decent connection with mobile data, wifi is still far superior. There are a lot of places that are introducing free wifi in certain areas but in the future, it’s likely that free wifi citywide will be the norm.
Google started Sidewalk Labs, a company aimed at using technology to improve cities. One of their biggest projects to date is the Link NYC project started in 2015. By reusing old telephone booths, they’re implementing free wifi throughout the entire city of New York.
We talk a lot about climate change and the problems associated with that but one thing that we don’t speak about enough is water shortages. There are a lot of countries around the world like Mexico or South Africa that have experienced serious shortages due to waste and poorly maintained infrastructure. The Indian city of Thiruvananthapuram loses almost half its water supply to waste and this is causing a big problem. But IBM has developed a water management system that monitors all of the usages to help identify problems and stop wastage.
Western countries aren’t really dealing with this problem just yet and a lot of people don’t think that it’ll be an issue in the developed world but in the next 50 years or so, there is a very real danger of water shortages everywhere. But hopefully, this new technology will become the standard in all cities to help manage our water supply properly.
These are just some of the many ways that new technology is going to revolutionize our cities in the future.