Thursday 30 July 2020 12:07 am

Sadiq Khan tasks advisers to create emerging tech plan for London

Sadiq Khan has tasked his advisers with identifying which emerging technology trends would most benefit London and its residents, as he seeks upgrade the capital’s infrastructure and policies.

The mayor of London has appointed his chief digital officer Theo Blackwell and the Smart London Board to create an Emerging Technology Charter, which will set out criteria that new technologies must meet before they can be deployed in the capital.

Khan is seeking a framework that will set expectations around design, security, privacy and ways of working so that innovators can pitch, develop and deploy new solutions in London, the mayor’s office told City A.M.

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Londoners are expected to be involved in the process, with public consultations to be held on new developments.

The charter will cover criteria such as how the technologies are trialled, how data is collected, used and stored by City Hall, whether they are sufficiently inclusive and accessible and if they meet high cybersecurity standards.

The move is part of a longstanding roadmap for establishing London as a so-called smart city, embedding new technologies and more advanced data practices within local government.

City Hall said it would take advice from similar charters which have been created in other major cities, including San Francisco, Boston and Helsinki.

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“Cities need a framework to steer the emergence of new tools and applications which affect our open spaces, transport systems and public services,” said Khan.

“It’s vital Londoners and public bodies understand the full impact of any new technology launched in the capital — and that innovations are designed with the public’s needs firmly in mind.”

A report published today by consultancy Digital Catapult identified the top technologies which London could benefit from, including artificial intelligence, 5G connectivity and robotics.

It will work with Khan and his advisers on the charter, which is expected to set out plans for the city over the next 15 years.