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Elon Musk is right. Driverless cars will arrive by 2021

People either get excited about the imminent arrival of driverless cars, or become terrified that the machines are inching ever nearer to put us all in danger.

Elon Musk is right. Driverless cars will arrive by 2021


There are hundreds of AI companies great and small working on the problem. Microsoft just committed itself to being an AI company. Ford practically abandoned its entire business plan in favor of becoming a manufacturer and operator of driverless vehicles. Technologically speaking, the experts think we’re only a few years away.

Today's Smart Cities Weekly is sponsored by Assemble Systems

A smart city need not be ugly


As Kansas City moves to make the city smarter with its own nodes and sensors, it might take that same counsel. Take that Digital Age infrastructure and transform it to art. (Would that make up for the Bartle Hall pylons, which somehow look more like infrastructure that needs covering up than the art they attempt?) Maybe look to the folks at the Kansas City Art Institute. Or to the city’s rich collection of architectural firms. Or outsource the project. Yeah, art costs more than ugly (although the Bartle Sky Stations might suggest that money won’t buy beauty and public art will draw detractors). But it’s worth a few more dollars for a prettier city (and the arguments over what counts as art).

These smart cities in Italy put Silicon Valley to shame


Sicily is working to become home to some of the world’s truly smart cities: A place that keeps its streets clean by alerting the sanitation department when public garbage bins are full. A place where you can unlock your office door and turn on your computer before you even arrive at work. A place where you can learn about a medieval building’s rich history just by pointing your phone at it. And a place where that phone can also find, reserve and direct you to a parking space with the tap of a button — which is what Puliafito is about to show me as we steer around Catania’s mountains.

These Urban Designers See a New York That Adapts to Watery Future

Rafi Segal Architecture and Urbanism and DLAND Studio envision a future in which a “densified urban development on higher ground creates a vibrant new city organized around the open space of Jamaica Bay.”

These Urban Designers See a New York That Adapts to Watery Future


In their vision, Jamaica Bay “protects its edges while doubling as New York’s new sunken central park.” Mastic Beach, a struggling Long Island village that disincorporated last year, is partially submerged by 2050, with a thriving community on higher ground and energy farming, and a few off-the-grid holdouts living amphibiously in the buffer. In this future, Sea Bright, New Jersey, loses a barrier island after “Hurricane Hermine” in 2023.

What would the perfect cycling city look like?


If you were building a city for bicycles from scratch, what would you include and leave out? In an edited excerpt from his new book Velotopia, Steven Fleming imagines a pedallers’ paradise.



Currently being labled Autonomous Rail Transit (ART), this vehicle is a cross between a train, bus and tram. Invented by rail transit company CRRC, the goal of the self driving train is to create affordable mass transit for communities that find fixed rail investments outside of their range. Priced in the same range as a bus, with each car being able to carry 100 passengers, could ART be the future of urban public transportation?

Building Smart Cities, One Urban Development At A Time

Some wrestle with the smart cities terminology – the idea, the definition, the scope. For more than a decade we have used these two words in multiple contexts, and it’s been more than polarising.

Building Smart Cities, One Urban Development At A Time


Generation 1.0 was top-down, technology driven, and with little understanding of how cities and people worked as systems. Generation 2.0, which we are moving into as we speak, is city-led and vision inspired, with technology as the enabler. And of Generation 3.0, Cohen describes a citizen-led, co-created model of using technology to help build truly sustainable, and inclusive communities.

Intel to build a fleet of over 100 self-driving test cars starting later this year


Intel is moving quickly to ramp its autonomous driving technology efforts now that it has closed its acquisition of Mobileye, the Israeli self-driving sensor and computing company. The plan is to build a fleet of over 100 test vehicles with SAE Level 4 capabilities (fully self-driving) with the first of those hitting roads later this year.

This small Mississippi city is getting smart to fight traffic


While its relatively small size (approximately 25,000) might make Ridgeland seem like an atypical place for a smart cities project, it is, in fact, an almost perfect fit for these kinds of pilots. In 2014, Ridgeland was one of the first cities in the state to ger fiber internet from C Spire. Even before the fiber was installed, Google recognized Ridgeland in 2013 as a “digital capital.”

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Jessica Gracey

Interior Designer – Gensler

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