Hands up who has tried out the driverless bus at the Waterfront?
I have, it is really exciting to see this practical use of new technology.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a driverless bus providing a circuit of the CBD? This is now in the realm of possibility.
Looking to the future
Driverless cars will change the way we commute and the way we design roads. City of Adelaide has conducted a trial of driverless cars on their highways.
The technology for driverless cars has been available for some time. The problem is that making them safe is extremely costly.
Issues such as road infrastructure and how the driverless vehicles integrates with other road users are key challenges. However, these are not insurmountable and are already being worked on.
Darwin is a small city. It would be easier to conduct a city wide trial here than in the bigger cities.
Just imagine the possibilities.
On the horizon there are some great opportunities for the City as we take on the ownership of the lights and poles.
The smart technologies that are possible to be utilised in conjunction with this opportunity are only just being realised in other cities.
Practical outcomes like movement sensors, data collection, parking management, boosted connectivity to name a few.
Speaking of connectivity, a young entrepreneur recently shared that she does a lot of work on the run, often in coffee shops. She flagged that the CBD wifi, while free in The Mall, is too erratic and slow.
This is great feedback. Now I am aware of the problem, I’m committed to finding a way to boost the service in the CBD.
Becoming a smart city
One of the first steps to becoming a smart city is to establish a digital plan.
In 2016 we launched the City of Darwin Digital Strategy, a framework for how we will leverage digital technologies.
One of its pillars is a recognition of the digital economy.
As a young community we are lucky to have smart, talented people who can drive this economy.
We already have companies like SRA Information Technology, a multiple award winning local business or Devan Sabaratnam, Regional Finalist for Pitchfest or the truly cool dudes at Captovate (thanks for all that advice when I first got started).
We need to foster and support this talent.
There is a lot of smart tech out there.
We don’t need to be early adopters, we just need to extract the practical solutions it offers and ride the wave.
What do you think? Love to hear your thoughts in the comments.