Impact of Science and Technology in Large Cities

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Robert Johnston

The impact of science and technology in large cities is being so important that it is changing basic sectors of modern life, such as medicine, logistics or travel.

Throughout history, emerging technologies have driven major changes in the way cities and their societies have been planned and function. In the 19th century, driven by new industrial processes, western cities moved from the structures of medieval cities to the model of the industrial city.

Around the world, walls were torn down and informal settlements were cleared to make way for new infrastructure of factories, railways for transportation, and housing for newly arrived workers..

In the 20th century, the advent of the automobile demanded large-scale readjustments in urban design, systems, and processes. This led to an era of central business districts, high-rise tower blocks, vast suburbs and vast ring roads and expressways..

Today we are again on the brink of a new urban transition. This transition is driven by the growing growth of innovations in information and communication technologies, encompassed in speeches and concepts such as the "Smart City" and the "Fourth Industrial Revolution".

These discourses promise to progress through science and technology-centric approaches to help solve many of the greatest challenges in urban society..

So far, the results of this approach are being widely tested with the inclusion of new technologies in different areas of society..

Technological and scientific development in large cities

More often than it seems, technologies, which have evolved at a tremendous rate, can be seen in everyday life as tools to automate processes and enable an easier life.

Artificial intelligence: Watson

Although controversial, the rule is quite simple: If there is a human who can do it, there is an AI that can do it better..

IBM's Watson, for example, bested the best human contestant on the trivia show Jeopardy, And on a more serious note, it is helping thousands of doctors today in research and diagnosis..

The achievements that are happening in neural network technologies in speech detection, image recognition, and even art creation, are bringing machines closer to rivaling and potentially exceeding human capabilities..

In fact, almost every industry in the world is experiencing an exponential rise in artificial intelligence within their core processes: customer service, finance, transportation, toys, aviation, news, and more, not to mention Siri, Cortana, Google Now, and the rise of artificially intelligent personal assistance.

Help at the airport: Spencer

Autonomous robots are intelligent machines that can perform tasks without human interference or assistance. Amsterdam has already released a robot at its airport that helps lost travelers find their gates.

The European Commission is collaborating financially in this project that has been called futuristic thanks to the technologies implemented, which surpass the abilities of current robots.

Spencer is able to survey crowds for groupings, as well as reflect on the behavior of a specific group and examine their emotional expressions..

Likewise, Spencer also has enough agility to actively respond to unforeseen circumstances..

Drones for home deliveries: Prime Air from amazon

Much of the actual work with Prime Air has occurred since late 2016. In fact, the first test flight did not occur until December, when an actual package was delivered to a customer in Cambridge, England..

In January 2017, Amazon obtained authorization to experiment with wireless communication that seemed to have something to do with controlling its drone fleet..

This was followed by a surprise cameo from Prime Air during one of Amazon's Super Bowl commercials the following month..

Carrying out this project could stimulate purchases and offer individuals in large cities the possibility of buying from home and receiving their packages in less time..

Self-driving cars: Mercedes and Google top the list

A growing number of tech companies and automakers, from Uber to Audi, seem intent on making self-driving a reality..

Companies like Mercedes already have prototypes in this section, such is the case of the F015 project or the S500 Intelligent Drive model. Both show off Mercedes self-driving technology.

On the other side is Google with a prototype called Waymo, which has no pedals or steering wheel, so that driving is really automatic, only controlled by software through sensors.

The inclusion of these cars undoubtedly generates a huge social impact in large cities by improving transport, automating certain processes through the use of GPS and smart traffic lights, which at the same time allows a much lower rate of car accidents.

Roadway improvements: CEF traffic light

Designed as a remedy for visual clutter, modular CEF traffic lights simplify streetlight design for easy identification of signs.

Created as a concept design for the 2014 iF Design Awards, CEF traffic lights can be mounted in a variety of combinations.

The modular design is cohesive, allowing any add-ons, such as video cameras or lights, to blend in, resulting in less visual noise and a more pleasing aesthetic.

Smart lighting: Metronomis LED

Metronomis LED is the world's first street lighting series to offer a variety of ambient lighting effects to give projects a unique aesthetic or contextual touch. An innovative game of reflection, light and shadow.

Four designs are available, and the flexible, modular Metronomis LED comes with a range of poles and a wide variety of optics and effects that allow architects, planners, and lighting designers to create a discreet, unified lighting scheme that reflects culture and history of its environment.

Self-sustaining energy: Tesla's Powerwall

Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and a group of other billionaires from the tech industry formed the Advanced Energy Coalition to invest in and support green energy innovation..

This global impact revolution established its foundation in 2015 with Musk introducing Tesla's Powerwall, a low-cost, high-efficiency storage battery that brings today's society closer to disconnecting major electrical grids, enabling self-sustainability..

Powerwall application in developing countries will change lives on the scale of millions of people.

The best part of this is that Musk extended the open source policy of Tesla's Powerwall so that any company in the world can produce a similar product or carry out this innovation..

References

  1. Teena Maddox. (August 1, 2016). Smart cities: 6 essential technologies. Jul 10, 2017, from TechRepublic Website: techrepublic.com
  2. Rani Nasr. (JANUARY 5, 2016). Ten Technology Trends That (Might) Change Our World In 2016. Jul 10, 2017, from Entrepreneur Middle East Website: entrepreneur.com
  3. Juan Balarezo. (2014). Five technological advances that have changed cities. Jul 10, 2017, from Vanitatis / El Confidencial Website: vanitatis.elconfidencial.com
  4. Ed Oswald. (May 3, 2017). HERE'S EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT AMAZON'S DRONE DELIVERY PROJECT, PRIME AIR. Jul 10, 2017, from Digital Trends Website: digitaltrends.com
  5. Douglas Macmillan; Rolfe Winkler (May 27, 2014). "Google's Prototype for Autonomous Driving Has No Steering Wheel". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  6. Jochem Vreeman. (April 4, 2016). Robot spencer accompanies first passengers at Schiphol airport. Jul 10, 2017, from Phys.org Website: phys.org
  7. Robert D. Atkinson. (nineteen ninety five). Technological Change and Cities. Cityscape, Vol. 3, 1-42. Jul 10, 2017, From HudUser.gov Database.
  8. Hiroaki Suzuki, Robert Cervero, and Kanako Iuchi. (2013). Transforming Cities with Transit. Transit and Land-use Integration for Sustainable Urban Development. Washington, D.C .: Uniandes Editions.

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