Smart cities are always depicted as futuristic havens with shiny skyscrapers, flying cars, intelligent robots and the odd alien. In reality, they are less sci-fi but no less game-changing.Given that most people already live in cities – and the few smart cities built from scratch around the world are slowly gaining traction – what we understand as a smart city might start as simply noteworthy upgrades to our home towns.The first wave of this future starts with self-driving cars. We’ll soon see more of them, but in limited environments like highways, where the parameters are less complex. A typical suburban road, particularly in SA, is awash with hazards for autonomous vehicles to identify — from pedestrians to cyclists and the inevitable mother with a pram. A highway only has other cars and is within a clearly defined space (with helpful road markings and warnings about when not to overtake).But what if the entire city had a grid of smart cameras these autonomous cars could tap into?...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as articles from our international business news partners; ProfileData financial data; and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now