Smart - but not helpful
Take the future of a city full of autonomous cars (a technologist’s dream come true): The natural “enemies” of these smart vehicles will be cyclists and pedestrians as they are unpredictable human risks who will suddenly rule the streets (neatly programmed, autonomous cars will stop and obey when pedestrians stand in the middle of the road).
In consequence, and to keep traffic flowing, a “smart system” needs to take care of all subjects disturbing that flow. So, basically, cyclists and pedestrians not behaving well get identified by ubiquitous smart cameras with face recognition and be fined. So, while the system might be “smart” and state of the art, somehow cool, the consequence for society could be less appealing. Do we want this?
So maybe we should think more towards reducing miles to travel, encourage cycling and have a better and smarter bus system and (trackless) streetcars. Good to see that Newcastle and LakeMac are on their way. We need more …