The city of Las Vegas has created an Innovation District to test new technology for improved public works, better traffic management and enhanced security services. The city’s goal is to create an incubator for innovative systems, expand proven services citywide, and offer partner companies an incubator for new technology.

The projects being tested aim to improve the experiences of Las Vegas’ 42 million annual visitors as well as its 650,000 residents and 2.2 million Las Vegas Valley inhabitants.[1] City leaders hope to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of civil systems through security enhancements, environmental safeguards and added convenience.

Technology companies such as Cisco, Numina, Motionloft, Hitachi and Navya are partners in this endeavor.[2] Innovation District projects will enable the city and its partners to collect and analyze data on traffic, transit, lighting, security, parking, crowd control, water, waste management and the environment.[3]

Innovation District projects focus on four areas:[4]

  • Smart city technology – Las Vegas has invested $500 million in smart infrastructure technology with the goal of becoming a smart city by 2025.[5] These projects aim to improve interoperability and efficiency among public services for transportation, energy, utilities, public safety and law enforcement.
  • Autonomous vehicles – Nevada was the first state to pass legislation allowing autonomous vehicles to drive on public roads.[6] Autonomous public transportation vehicles are in limited use in the district. Advanced transportation projects are designed to increase the efficiency of traffic flow and improve roadways for visitors and residents.
  • Connected corridors – Las Vegas is developing a network of connected roadways with traffic signals equipped with dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) radios. They link to vehicles to improve traffic flow and assist emergency responders in crisis events.
  • Open data – Las Vegas earned the #1 ranking from the U.S. City Open Data Census for making available key data on the area and sharing it with the public. An example project is the creation of location mapping tools incorporating parcel and zoning data in machine-readable formats. This data can be used by software developers to create applications or computer visualizations.

[1] “The Innovation District Smart City Project in Las Vegas,” Safe & Smart City blog, July 25, 2017. Available at: http://safesmart.city/en/innovation-district-las-vegas/

[2] “Las Vegas testing smart tech to ‘make life better,’” by Mick Akers, Las Vegas Sun, July 10, 2017. Available at: https://lasvegassun.com/news/2017/jul/10/las-vegas-testing-smart-tech-to-make-life-better/

[3] “The Innovation District Smart City Project in Las Vegas,” Safe & Smart City blog, July 25, 2017. Available at: http://safesmart.city/en/innovation-district-las-vegas/

[4] Innovate.Vegas website, Programs & Projects tab on the Innovation District. Available at: http://innovate.vegas/programs-projects/smart-city/

[5] Innovate.Vegas website, Programs & Projects tab on the Innovation District. Available at: http://innovate.vegas/programs-projects/smart-city/

[6] “Las Vegas to Launch ‘Innovation District’ Geared Toward High-Tech Transportation Testing,” by Ben Miller, GovTech blog, Feb. 9, 2016. Available at: http://www.govtech.com/fs/Las-Vegas-to-Launch-Innovation-District-Geared-Toward-High-Tech-Transportation-Testing.html

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