The Force at work / La Force en action

The Force at work / La Force en action
Read the whole story now being read around the world! / Lisez toute l'histoire maintenant lue autour du monde!

Monday, August 7, 2017

SMART CITIES : The Good The Bad & The Ugly

The Paddocks for the Smart Cities conference but also for the FE race. The pits are right beside the Paddocks. As you can see, everything is very clean. Engineers and mechanics don't have dirty hands or clothes. The air and the sound are comfortable. The VIP section and race track are right in the heart of the city, and except for its mass they will not disrupt the breathing air of the citizens and the sound will not surpass regular sounds of traffic. The accommodations are first class and there are attendants every step of the way to make sure all your needs are met. The washrooms are very elegant, made with dark wood panels and equipped with all you could need to be refreshed. Photos © Lena Ghio, 2017
 Jean Todt arriving at Smart Cities conference.
Photo © Lena Ghio, 2017

As you know this last week-end of July the first Formula E race happened in Montreal. This new racing style was inspired by the FIA and Jean Todt the president was in town to explain the logic behind this innovative approach to motor racing. The first thing he did was to address the question of why the FIA would manufacture a race track when there is a great one ready at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. He informed us that unfortunately the installations could not accommodate the needs of electrical vehicles. Then he declared that by 2040 both London and Paris would have only e-cars circulating on their roads. The purpose of the FE race is to promote the transformation of fossil fueled cars in city transportation into an e-fueled one. Montreal has already made huge progress in this domain with e-busses for example. But what are the implications of having a city where a lot of vehicles are equipped with AI technology that allow driverless cars, goods being delivered by robots or drones. 

The opening panel from left to right: Jérôme D'Ambrosio a Belgian professional racing driver for Dragon Racing; Pierre Arcand, Ministre de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles, Quebec;  Alejandro Agag, CEO de Formula E HoldingsTim Shearman, Président de la Région III de la FIA et PDG du CAADenis Coderre, Maire de Montréal; Jean Todt, Président de la FIAMarjorie Paillon, TV Présentatrice,  France 24. Photo © Lena Ghio, 2017
The day was filled with fascinating talks on the consequences of electrifying the cities of the future. One of the panelists that followed the opening conference was Baher Abdulhai, Director, Toronto Intelligent Transportation Systems Centre who helped us understand the complexities of traffic. Here is his TED TALK on the subject. The debate also included: Saul Billingsley, Director, FIA Foundation, Representative Michelin "Movin’On Experience"; Marc-Antoine Ducas, Fondateur et PDG, NetliftBryant Walker Smith, Professor, South Carolina University; together they discussed the mind boggling complexities of an electric city. Simplest among them: if two self-driving cars get into an accident, who is legally responsible? HERE you can listen to expert Bryant Walker Smith discussing the current thinking. HERE a sample of the advancements in driverless cars and more on the moral dilemmas and a look at the driverless roads. The most astonishing revelation to me was the coming possibility that your electric car will be able to fill-up by using your home's Wi-Fi system! As I researched the internet to explore all the topics I had learned about in Smart Cities I was amazed at how advanced the industries providing these services were. 

The conference part concluded by a competition hosted by Monty C. M. Metzger (below right) , Founding Partner at Digital Leaders Ventures ( DLG ) for the best start-up among three finalist.
The photo was taken from @montymetzger with this quoteCongrats to Wavelite for winning the  Start up Global Contest in Montreal   (Twitter)

Finally: The Race


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