27 June 2018

Urban Institute launch white paper on urban robotics and automation

A white paper on how robotics and autonomous systems technology has the potential to change urban life has been published by a team from the Urban Institute.

Dubai

The “Urban Robotics and Automation: Critical Challenges, International Experiments and Transferable Lessons for the UK” white paper offers a detailed analysis of the potential urban uses for technology such as healthcare, transportation and construction.

Researchers used examples of urban robotic and automation systems currently used in California, Tokyo and Dubai to highlight the scale and scope urban robotic applications could have in cities.


Thanks to a series of recent government funding announcements, we will continue to see major industry shift towards automation, connectivity, shared mobility and the electrification of vehicles.

Professor Simon Marvin

Director of the Urban Institute


The paper concludes with a number of recommendations including the need for supportive governance and regulation of urban experimentation with robotics and autonomous systems.

Professor Simon Marvin, Director of the Urban Institute at the University of Sheffield, said: “Cities are being automated at a steady pace and advances in urban automation and transport are continuously shaping our urban life and environment, so this white paper comes at a very interesting and key time in the technology progression.

“Good city governance and resource utilisation enables smooth flow of services, data, and people, and many cities are now becoming test beds – for both national and local governments – to experiment with robots in social spaces, and to explore their role in facilitating everyday life and good city governance.

“With connected and autonomous vehicles set to take another leap forward in the UK thanks to a series of recent government funding announcements, we will continue to see major industry shift towards automation, connectivity, shared mobility and the electrification of vehicles.

“This market disruption is changing the way the urban environment is organised, and in this paper we take a comprehensive look at the transformative effect this will have on the way people travel, especially in cities.”

The white paper was commissioned by the EPSRC RAS Network as part of a series of papers that scope the state and future research priorities in robotics and automated systems.

It was launched at the International Robotics Showcase at the Liverpool Exhibition Centre earlier this month.

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