Necessity breeds innovation, and rural people have always been innovative. Working with limited resources makes us more creative thinkers. That’s just one of the reasons that small towns and rural places are the perfect testing grounds for the future. The infrastructure of future technology will be the result of rural testing.
Drones and UAVs – perfect for rural
I just read an article where an urban expert said we’ll never have drone deliveries because the skies above cities are just too crowded.
Then I saw articles on rural areas doing drone deliveries right now. Medical supplies like blood and perishable drugs are delivered by drone to remote locations in Africa, and a remote First Nation island community in Canada is getting supplies and mail by drone starting in the spring.
Wide open rural spaces are the smartest place to test all kinds of Unmanned Aerial Systems. Agriculture already dominates the early practical uses of drones and UASs.
Tests in rural places give companies a chance to learn, experiment, and figure out the rules that make wider implementation possible.
Self-driving cars make sense in small towns
Urban experts are writing about driverless cars and how they’re a mess, and people hate them because they tie up city traffic.
Rural people have been using autonomous vehicles in mining and farming for years now. In Australia, elders in regional towns are excited about driverless shuttles being tested to help them get around after they’ve given up driving themselves. Imagine all the ways autonomous vehicles could fit into small towns, much less disruptively than big cities.
Building out the infrastructure to support autonomous vehicles will be easier in compact small towns. There’s less ground to cover, and local governments and leaders are easier to access for approvals.
Again, small town tests are easier to manage and provide real-world information that can shape more successful and less disruptive implementation. This is yet another convincing reason to fund and speed up rural broadband and cell service modernization projects.
Smart cities are taking forever, smart villages are much easier
Another recent article talked about how the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities are taking forever to get here. It reminded me of this quote from Ashok Das, who returned to India with a decade of experience in the US semiconductor industry.
“Changing consumer behavior in a big city is a major problem,” he says. “It will take decades to build smart cities, but I can get thousands of smart villages done in that time.”
What researchers and companies learn in smart villages will shape smarter strategies for smart cities.
Seeing the Small Town Future
These are just a few highlights. All kinds of technology trials are going on in rural places right now. We are helping establish the infrastructure, techniques and rules that make broader adoption possible.
Are you interested in seeing how small towns play important roles in the future? Join SaveYour.Town for a 30 minute video, Seeing the Small Town Future.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.