Smart City News - 23.10.2017

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What's hot in this edition? Energy cost and stability is the enabler of any smart city. Tesla builds houses. Market supremacy in the autonomous driving market is likely going to the best software. Taxis fly in Dubai. Your next smart home will sense how you feel and react to it. It takes $3.7 trillion every year alone to keep our dumb cities intact. And online dating makes the world a more diverse place with better marriages.

Find quotes and links below.



Foundations of the smart city Energy costs represent the single largest component of operating expense, and a potential barrier to future expansion. Also, while the level of power quality and reliability offered by legacy distribution systems are acceptable for the majority of customers, voltage and frequency fluctuations, harmonics and short-term power outages can have costly and disruptive effects on data centers. [DatacenterDynamics]

Tesla starts Australian “tiny house” tour to show off energy products Inside the house, customers can run their home through a mobile design studio, to see how much energy their home could generate, store, and save. Tesla is hoping to sell the full solution to customers, as adding the Powerwall can potentially take customers off the electrical grid. [readwrite]

Decentralized Home Solar Power Is Lighting Up Sub-Saharan Africa The challenge for companies looking to provide solar power in Africa was finding a way to do so that was both low-cost and low-risk for customers. If you’re used to buying kerosene in small quantities and, to some extent, it’s working for you, you’re not going to risk committing to an expensive new form of electricity that, as far as you know, may not even work. [SingularityHub]


Winner-takes all effects in autonomous cars Rather, the place to look is not within the cars directly but still further up the stack - in the autonomous software that enables a car to move down a road without hitting anything, in the city-wide optimisation and routing that mean we might automate all cars as a system, not just each individual car, and in the on-demand fleets of 'robo-taxis' that will ride on all of this. [BEN EVANS]

Autonomous flying taxis take to Dubai’s skies in field test The prototype electric hover-vehicle was designed by Germany’s Volocopter. Specs wise, it can soar across the Dubai skyline for 30 minutes, with a maximum speed of 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph). [THE NEXT WEB]

VW to Build Electric Versions of All 300 Models by 2030 Mueller said VW will need the equivalent of at least four gigafactories for battery cells by 2025 just to meet its own vehicle production. At 50 billion euros, the CEO announced one of the largest tenders in the industry’s history for the procurement of batteries. [Bloomberg]

Mapping’s Intelligent Agents Everything from autonomous warfare to logistics to geo-targeted advertising depends on map superiority. On the friendlier end of the spectrum, maps drawn by AI have potential to transform myriad areas of research and design, and to influence policy and governance, starting with environmental protection and public health. [PLACES]

In the future, owning a car could cost twice as much as taking driverless taxis everywhere

UBS forecasts that taking “robotaxis”—i.e., self-driving taxis—will be half as expensive per kilometer as owning a car in the future. The firm expects to see widespread adoption of robotaxis in urban areas starting around 2030. It estimates that the typical household could save €5,000 a year (about $5,875) by switching to robotaxis in the future. [QUARTZ]


How the Intelligent Home of the Future Will Care For You He sees the homes of the future being equipped with digital ears (in the form of home assistants, sensors, and monitoring devices) and digital eyes (in the form of facial recognition technology and machine vision to recognize who’s in the home). [SingularityHub]

Alphabet Is Trying to Reinvent the City, Starting With Toronto Chairman Eric Schmidt said Tuesday. “This is the culmination, from our side, of almost 10 years of thinking about how technology can improve people’s lives.” [WIRED]


Bridging infrastructure gaps: Has the world made progress? Looking more closely at the network infrastructure necessary to support economies—roads, railways, ports, airports, power, water, and telecoms—the world needs to invest an average of $3.7 trillion in these assets every year through 2035 in order to keep pace with projected GDP growth. [McKinsey]

An Indian state wants to use blockchain to fight land ownership fraud India's land ownership system is apparently fraught with fraud — so one state is exploring the application of blockchain technology to make it more transparent. [CNBC]

Puerto Rico Looks to Alphabet's X Project Loon Balloons to Restore Cell Service Some relief could be on the way from above, however, in the form of massive, translucent plastic balloons. Launched by Alphabet—Google’s parent company—the balloons could create a network to restore wireless communications for most of the island’s 3.4 million residents. [Scientific American]


Will smart city investment pay off? Twenty-one metrics – including demographics, city spend and infrastructure, business economy, education -- were used to come up with the final scores. [GCN]

The global adoption of smart cities is making the places we live more open to attacks The Economist Intelligence Unit warns that if authorities and companies don’t put in security measures at the same pace of developing these technologies it makes the places we live more unsafe.​ [msn News]


First Evidence That Online Dating Is Changing the Nature of Society Dating websites have changed the way couples meet. Now evidence is emerging that this change is influencing levels of interracial marriage and even the stability of marriage itself. [MIT Technology Review]

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