Original post by Mike Steep via Forbes
Pssshhhhhhtttt. Like a shot of steam in your morning latte, the sound of train doors opening injects vitality into any urban commute. But imagine that at 7:18 a.m. on Monday in the London Underground the red doors stay open and quiet, and stay, and stay . . .
Inside the rail cars, instead of the familiar sway and howl of a train at pace, there’s just a nervous electrical hum. Londoners sit, yawn, and scroll absently on their phones. Tired of waiting, a couple of would-be passengers make a decision to tuck away their phones and head back out onto the platform.
The commuters have no idea why their train is delayed or when or if it will move again. So they’re forced into a scavenger hunt for an alternate way to work.
To be fair to London, this experience is rapidly becoming extinct. The city upon the Thames is growing faster than at any other time in its 2,000-year history. According to the City of London, the core will hit 9 million in population before New York and approach 10 million by 2030. London is on track to become one of 30 megacities that will exist by 2023. So it is necessarily reinventing itself in the digital age as a Smart City.
How does becoming a Smart City save the hapless riders stranded on the train? Imagine you’re a commuter in a different scenario. Sensors monitoring the Tube and its trains detect an irregularity in the brake system of your usual train. The data gets reported in real time to the government agency Transport for London (TfL), checked with a probability heuristic, and confirmed. There’s a 90% chance of brake failure in the next two hours.
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