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Virtual reality cities offer a glimpse of our futures

You’re on your way to work, and it’s like any other day.

You get out of the driverless car you booked through an app on your phone and start walking to work. The car pulls onto a charge pad by the side of the road, rebooting before picking up another customer.

Looking to your left, you notice a 3D printer has arrived on site and is building a new development.

A 360-degree camera has also been installed and can live-stream the onsite work anywhere in the world. Anyone involved in the project can check out what is happening in real time by simply donning their virtual reality headset.

All the while a mega-drone passes overhead as it monitors the streets of London for traffic flow and potential congestion.

Sound far-fetched? Well, this could be your day-to-day in just 20 years’ time, according to PwC.

The professional services company has developed a virtual reality experience for its clients, offering a glimpse into a city of the future might look like.

Source: PwC

Not only is the company using VR to build a multi-layered model of a futuristic urban environment, it is also modelling how the city’s various technological developments could affect businesses.

For construction, getting an idea of the transformational changes on the horizon – “disruptions”, as PwC describes them – promises to be extremely useful.

For example, autonomous cars need digital infrastructure in place – offering a major opportunity for contractors to deliver this.

Through using virtual reality, getting familiar with how autonomous cars might interact with physical infrastructure in the future could be a wise move to prepare for what will come.

After all, the government announced in last year’s Autumn Budget that driverless cars would be on our roads by 2021.

For further insights, check out my feature on autonomous cars, how they could radically change the market and whether construction is ready for them.

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