London continues to build on its Smart City creds

The latest statistics released by Canalys have London placed 4th in the world rankings for autonomous vehicle readiness. It is currently behind Shanghai, Singapore and San Francisco. The results take into account the population of a city (hence Shanghai’s ranking) and the focus placed upon digital, eco-friendly and sustainable infrastructure. In addition to these measurements, political priorities, pressure on networks and the willingness of the population to adopt modern travel methods (such as ride sharing), form part of the scoring system.
The last two criteria mentioned above, seem particularly noteworthy as they represent positives in a climate of uncertainty and division, set against a back drop of national threat.
None of us are in any doubt that we face a period of political debate and social conflict while we work backwards from Brexit in an attempt to create a manifesto that will generate growth and ultimate prosperity across a nation. Neither are we blind to the frustrations we endure daily while travelling to and from work in an ecosystem stretched to capacity. We sometimes forget however, that we have enviable ambition and vision. In spite of economic challenges and exposure to terrorism in recent years, the history, culture and eclectic ambience offered by our capital city, continues to deliver unique appeal. Statistics show that in 2015, London recorded revenues of £12 billion from overseas tourism while domestic tourism returned a similar amount. Meanwhile, foreign investment in London property is estimated to be in the region of £125 billion in the last 6 years. Though this influx of cash needs to be carefully regulated, it clearly demonstrates international belief in London as a unique, ambitious and enduring phenomenon. The London stock exchange (Europe’s largest) adds further testimony to this assertion, hosting investments from 68 countries, with a market capitalisation of approaching £4 trillion.
Much of London’s success is due to its inhabitants. A long standing commitment to public transport, the adoption of car-pooling and a strong sense of environmental duty are surprisingly peculiar to us when compared with other major cities. Credit should also go to those planning the ongoing expansion of both London and UK PLC. The GLA and DFT (through Network Rail and TFL) are making progress. £200+ million has been invested in the Smart London Innovation Network to identify the blue print for the smartest possible city, while the implementation of new infrastructure and advanced traffic management systems will enhance the capacity and performance of our railways.
Our commitment to a connected smart city and a digital railway is positioning us well to deliver the experience that our residents and visitors deserve over the next 20 years. 4th place for autonomous vehicle readiness represents genuine progress. To sit 2 places behind Singapore boasting one of the most modern and comprehensive public transport infrastructures in the world is not bad. To be positioned directly behind San Francisco (the unquestionable epi-centre of global software development) is no disgrace either. We have an historic framework and a densely populated City that continue to demonstrate remarkable adaptive powers. As a result, our disruptive innovation and digital transformation initiatives continue to trend strongly in the right direction.
We’re getting there…..

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