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While smart city news occupies an increasing amount of media bandwidth, a new survey reveals that millennials would rather live in a connected “youthful city.”
According to the Urban Millennial Survey most millennials interviewed said they want to live in a “youthful city” that is connected like a smart city, but is also dynamic, open, curious, inventive and playful.
YouthfulCities, an organization which “helps cities understand and engage the Millennial Generation” surveyed 15,000 people aged 15-34 years old in 34 cities about the infrastructure needs of their cities and the benefits and challenges of city life from their perspective.
“Millennials are a powerful economic and social force so it is no surprise that city leaders around the world are clamouring over each other to crack the code of understanding them,” said YouthfulCities co-founder Sonja Miokovic.
Robert Bond an IP technology specialist with London-based law firm Charles Russell Speechlys believes that city leaders should be clamoring to understand all of their citizens, not just millennials. Instead he said many global metropolises are focusing primarily on the prestige of implementing smart city technology rather than putting the citizens’ needs first.
Millennials are citizens, too
“Forget smart cities, what about smart citizens?” Bond recently commented to Lexology.com. “It seems that if government or big business put the word ‘smart’ in front of any initiative it becomes instantaneously exciting and everyone rushes to be part of the new ‘smart’ topic.”
“The citizen often has little idea as to how the technology works, why the technology is needed and what happens to their privacy in a smart environment,” he added.
Smart city plans are popping up in metropolises far and wide, from North America and Western Europe to developing nations in Asia and Africa.
According to a recently published report by Grand View Research, the smart cities development market will hit $1.4 trillion in 2020, nearly triple the global market size of that market today.
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Want to test drive Google’s autonomous car? The company has a new opening in Chandler, Arizona, for test drivers willing to get inside the self-driving vehicle and let it drive.
Not any average joe can step into the autonomous car, Google wants employees to have a bachelor’s degree and excellent communication skills. The applicant must also be able to take over the car at any time, in case the autonomous system fails.
Google pairs two employees to a self-driving car, one in the driver’s seat and the other taking notes. At the end of the day, the notes will be given to the engineering team, alongside any feedback on the drive.
“Test drivers play an important role in developing our self-driving technology,” said Brian Torcellini, head of operations for Google’s Self-Driving Car testing program, to AZCentral. “They give our engineers feedback about how our cars are driving and interacting with others on the road, and can take control of the vehicle if needed.”
Google paying $20/hour to drive around
Google will pay employees $20 per hour and expects them to drive for six to eight hours per day, for 12 to 24 months. Assuming it’s a Monday to Friday gig, you could earn up to $38,400, a decent salary for driving around Phoenix everyday.
“The role of a test driver is so new that there isn’t a particular type of person that we look for,” Torcellini said. “We’ve hired people from all types of backgrounds, from English teachers to orbital welders. In general, they need to be excellent drivers who pay really close attention to the road and can predict the social aspects of driving. Local drivers will be great for testing in the Phoenix area because they know the roads and local driving norms better.”
Google has already clocked in over one million miles in its autonomous car, but learning about different cities may be incredibly useful for the system to understand unique traffic quirks only adopted in some parts of the United States.
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