What will the city of the future look like?

By Isadora In Artigo Autaza, Automação Industrial, Industria 4.0 — November 20, 2019



Did you know that the cities of the future are already being designed and some have even come out of paper? In a few years we will have surface magnetic rails, underground mobility system, autonomous cars, intelligent traffic lights to minimize congestion and much more. In this article, you will know which regions of the world are betting high on technology and how this will impact humanity.  

According to UN data, almost 70% of the world's population will live in cities by 2050 - there will be 2.5 billion new inhabitants increased by urbanization and population growth. In other words, we need to be prepared! In this regard, technology has been bringing solutions to generate more quality of life, safety and sustainability within major urban centers. 

Have you ever heard about "smart cities"? There are many definitions you can find out there, but they all have one thing in common: a smart city is one that enhances the quality of life of its population. In pursuit of this status, cities in all regions of the world will invest between USD 930 billion and USD 1.7 trillion per year by 2025. Some technologies such as internet of things, big data, operations centers and blockchain help in the work of capturing data and detecting problems.

Some cities are being planned from scratch in the concept of "smart city", such as Masdar, in the United Arab Emirates, which is expected to be fully implemented by 2025. In terms of mobility, Masdar will use surface magnetic rail transport and an underground mobility system. Quite different, isn't it?

There are also billionaires who bet fortunes on projects like this one: Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and one of the richest men in the world. He is creating an intelligent city in the Arizona desert. Belmont will have 101,200m² of land and will be built with technology at its core. It is expected to have 182,000 inhabitants and the presence of autonomous cars and intelligent traffic lights to minimize congestion.

Other urban centers are trying to fit to new technologies and improve existing systems, such as London, Copenhagen and Singapore. In Brazil, the city of São Paulo has created an Innovation Laboratory for Mobility that drives intelligent solutions to the problems of the megalopolis. Scipopulis, for example - a startup that operates in the capital - developed the "Bus Dashboard", a technology that shows the real-time speed of buses on any street.  

This year, the city was considered one of the smartest and connected in Brazil by the Ranking Connected Smart Cities. The report evaluates indicators of 11 main sectors: mobility, urbanism, environment, technology and innovation, economy, education, health, security, entrepreneurship, governance and energy. 

What about the cars?

Autonomous cars, connected to the Internet and that do not pollute. Would it be possible? This year, autonomous cars have already started to circulate in New York City. Six electric Polaris cars controlled by startup Optimus Ride ran for free inside the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a former U.S. Navy shipyard that now runs as a manufacturing and technology center. 

Another bet is the technology of augmented reality in cars. Maps, traffic information and detailed data regarding vehicle conditions should change from a display onto the car glass. There are many predictions of what the cars of the future will be like and some say that in a few decades we will no longer need drivers. In the next article we will talk more about the most advanced automotive technologies. 

Beatriz Bevilaqua, journalist and passionate about technology!