Rendering of the future Masdar City
Many developing and emerging countries have bypassed an era of land-line phones and gone straight to the widespread use of mobile phones and smartphones. As shown in such developments, packaged intelligence systems may be considered convenient for countries and regions without a well established social infrastructure. Another benefit is that such systems require no adjustments of interface with the legacy systems on introduction, such as ensuring consistency or compatibility. Now, let’s take a look at Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where an interesting initiative is ongoing.
Masdar City is a pilot city of 2.5 km x 2.5 km that is being constructed in the middle of a dessert challenging to achieve zero emission. Masdar City is scheduled to be completed in 2015 and serves as a prototype for Abu Dhabi Capital district, where the capital is scheduled to be relocated in 2030. The city is designed as an independent city, having residential districts and commercial facilities centering on research institutions such as universities. Once complete, the city is planned to be powered by mostly natural energy sources such as solar energy. Because regular gasoline automobiles will be excluded from the city bounds, MC, in cooperation with Mitsubishi Motors, backed up Mitsubishi Heavy Industries' proposal for an EV (electric vehicle) as a mode of transit (commuter), and as a result, the i-MiEV was adopted.
In Masdar City, experiments are being conducted to regulate the temperature of the entire city by using natural energy. However, the city is located in an area that naturally reaches temperatures sometimes exceeding 50°C and this makes it very important that vehicles are stored in cool shaded locations and battery recharging is conducted efficiently. MC has the role of coordinating this task.
The i-MiEV adopted for Masdar City
For Japan, the UAE is the second-largest exporter of crude oil after Saudi Arabia. For the UAE, Japan is the largest importer of its crude oil. For more than 50 years, Japan and the UAE have been building friendly ties. At the government level in the UAE, eagerness has been expressed to import Japan's cutting-edge technology and it is significantly symbolic that a Japanese-made EV was chosen as the mode of transport for this country's future city.
However, the importance of MC's participation in Masdar City is not the supply of vehicles alone; it is also the way this participation is closely connected with infrastructure development. For example, although a worldwide standard for EV recharging systems has not been established, the Japanese-based CHAdeMO format has been selected for Masdar City. The i-MiEV is manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and the development of the ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) infrastructure, which includes car telematics,* has been awarded to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.Joining those two players was MC, who has been operating a local office in the UAE ever since the country was founded, and has thorough understanding of the local business environment and immense management experience in numerous infrastructure projects, to propose this fully optimized system.
* Telematics is a term derived from telecommunications and informatics. It is a general term describing information provision services for vehicles such as cars.
Smart community is much more than a business model simply concerned with the adoption of technologies and products; it is more about the selection and the integration of products from anywhere in the world. The key to the success of smart communities lies in ensuring an open integration stance. Therefore, because MC has touch points with every industry and possesses a broad worldwide network, it plays a very important role.
Contents Produced in Cooperation with Nikkei Business Online Special / Cross Architects, Inc.