Cities ‘to go smart within a decade’

Are you looking forward to living in a smart city, with solar roads, autonomous cars, negligible pollution and green buildings? This kind of urban lifestyle is only a decade away, […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Are you looking forward to living in a smart city, with solar roads, autonomous cars, negligible pollution and green buildings?

This kind of urban lifestyle is only a decade away, according to supplier First Utility and futurist Glen Hiemstra.

They say by 2028, cities will become much more energy efficient, rely on electrified transportation, adopt the Internet of Things (IoT) and generally become more decarbonised, digitalised and desirable places to live.

The new report suggests smart thermostats will automatically buy extra power from homes reselling their self-generated energy when it’s at a good price.

Electric vehicles (EVs) are expected to work as self-driving taxis when not charging or being used by their owner – customers could hail the vehicles with an app using blockchain technology.

It adds sensors on solar panel-covered roads will monitor traffic and road wear to optimise journeys and maintenance.

The supplier and the futurist expect households to source about 10% of its power from neighbours, 30% from home solar arrays and the remainder from local, renewable utilities.

Mr Hiemstra says: “This vision of city life just a decade or two from now is not exaggerated. It will be surprising, really, if most of this vision is not reality in many cities by that time.

“And it will be important that such ideas become standard practice, as the demands on cities will be greater than ever.”