Trends to watch in 2021 –
Technology: the future is connected
COVID-19 has created widespread disconnection, from inconsistent virus-tracing protocols to gaps in supply chains. As the pandemic continues, the growth of connected technology could help Canada adapt and thrive in the short and long term through:
As the world awaits mass immunization and many communities are in the midst of a powerful second wave, the need for smart city technology has become a priority. Smart city technology features tools and applications that could mitigate the impacts of a pandemic, including contact-tracing protocols, cleaning robots, temperature sensors, and AI and big data to track and prevent outbreaks.
While 2020 was largely defined by getting AVs “right and on the road,” 2021 will be defined by applying AV capabilities to current challenges in passenger and non-passenger use. Beyond the issues of mass deployment, AV applications in logistics—whether through on-road vehicles, drones or in warehouse settings—will continue to address supply chain interruptions and biosafety.
Connected technology and economic recovery
Connected technology is by definition dependent upon infrastructure, which all levels of government have emphasized as part of their plans to rebuild the economy. While privacy will remain a concern, Canada’s investment in connected tech would further our reputation as a global innovation hub and propel the economic engine.