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London Needs More Drones To Beat Its Traffic Problems, Says Boris Johnson

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Drones could prove the answer to the hordes of delivery vehicles clogging the capital’s streets, Mayor believes

The skies of London could become much more crowded after the city’s Mayor called for airborne drones to take the place of road vehicles.

Speaking at an event in Singapore during his six-day tour of south-east Asia, Boris Johnson called on the capital’s technology firms, particularly the financial technology sector, to come up with a solution to the traffic problems that plague the city, and suggested drones could be the answer.

boris johnson mayor of London © landmarkmedia ShutterstockSolutions

“We have a problem, folks – all this internet shopping is leading to a massive increase in white van traffic dropping this stuff off – 45 percent it’s going to go up in London in the next seven years,” he said. “That’s going to be terrible for congestion in our city and doubtless the same will be true of Singapore as well.

“I look out at this brilliant audience here today, bulging with ideas, and I ask you possibly to solve it. We need a solution … Is it, as I hope, going to be drones? I want to be controlling an app that enables my shopping not only to be click and collect … I want my own personal drone to come and drop it wherever I choose.”

Mayor Johnson has been a major catalyst in helping London to become one of Europe’s leading technology hubs, playing a key role in helping establish the capital’s ‘Tech City’ in the east of the city.

According to research by Oxford Economics published today, the technology sector is expected to create an additional £12 billion of economic activity and 46,000 new jobs in the capital over the next 10 years. A different study by South Mountain Economics suggests that in the south of England, the technology sector is growing faster than in New York City or San Francisco.

Drones could become a widespread sight in the UK sooner than thought, with Amazon, which has looked to spearhead the adoption of drone deliveries, recently advertising for a full-time ‘drone flight engineer’ position within the company.

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