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6 trends for Smart Cities in 2019

smart cities diveAs we enter 2019, Smart Cities Dive presents a list of trends that are expected to influence and shape the future of smart cities in 2019. From new mobility services to advanced payment options and the evolution towards 5G technologies, this year is expected to significantly transform cities.

In a recently published article about future trends in smart cities, Kristin Musulin and Chris Teale have compiled the following list of trends for 2019.

  1. New mobility offerings: further progress on advanced modes of transportation is expected this year. While dockless bikes and scooters were widely used in 2018, even more innovative ways for personal mobility, such as electric bikes, are expected for this year. Regarding high-speed travel, further progress by Elon Musk’s Boring Company is awaited, after the criticism of the first hyperloop test tunnel last December. Moreover, the Northeast Maglev as well as the California high-speed rail project are about to start in 2019.
  2. Continued consolidation: as dockless bikes and and scooters were successfully implemented in 2018, most shared mobility companies are now ripe for acquisition, and big mobility companies are about to enter the bidding game.
  3. Changing face of parking: as residents and commuters stop using a personal car, new opportunities for existing parking lots, buildings and garages emerge. E-scooter giant Bird claims that one traditional car space can fit 10 scooters, suggesting that cities can begin transforming car-assigned parking spots into scooter spaces.
    Screenshot from Bird’s “Impact” page on its website. Credit: Bird
  4. Scooter over bikes: dockless scooters have gained popularity across the world in 2018 and this year they are expected to gain even more ground than dockless bikes
  5. New ways to pay: digital payment methods have already started in 2018, mostly in subway and bus fares. Cashless payment developments will be at the forefront of research and the shift to a decentralized economy appears as a central topic of conversation. The use of blockchain technology, following the footsteps of cities like Austin, TX, and the issue of equity are of primary focus this year.
  6. 5G: telecom companies will continue moving towards rolling out 5G, a rollout trend expected to accelerate this year. Although some companies have already deployed 5G services, it is not sure yet whether mobile 5G will be available during 2019.