Las Vegas: Becoming a Smart City
The City of Las Vegas is home to 650,000 residents, with the greater Las Vegas area attracting 42 million annual visitors. The City of Las Vegas, working with technology and business solutions provider NTT, has expanded its efforts to become a smarter city and provide safe, reliable, and efficient civic technology that stimulates economic growth and offers better experiences for its residents and visitors.
City officials are seeking to improve interoperability among all public service sectors through open-source data sharing and real-time data analytics. They have deployed various tech solutions in the past two years that have already changed city safety.
The city’s smart city charter focuses on six major areas:
- Public Safety: Solutions should better inform first responders and decrease response times.
- Economic Growth: Infrastructures will promote new business models and lead to new job opportunities.
- Mobility: New connected vehicle infrastructure and data analytics will enable safer, more reliable, and energy-efficient mobility options.
- Education: Expanding collaboration with universities will support education initiatives and prepare the future workforce.
- Social Benefit: Programs for underserved communities will help establish demographic equity.
- Health Care: Connected and intelligent medical devices will encourage a broader view of well-being.
- In this article, we will focus mainly on public safety initiatives and also touch on some social benefits.
Improving Safe Mobility. This pilot project was designed to decrease traffic congestion and help city officials address the problem of drivers accidentally driving the wrong way on streets. Sensors using lidar placed at various streets in Las Vegas could detect collisions, near misses, how many times cars went the wrong direction, and even resulting decreases in congestion after roadway improvements.
Edge data centers can quickly process and analyze massive amounts of data and send back near real-time alerts and suggestions for traffic control, amber alerts, and more. The connected data from all over Las Vegas streets also helps first responders react more quickly.
Through the pilot program, wrong-way driving was reduced by around 40%.
Expanding to Smart Park Initiative. Following an earlier trial at two park locations, Las Vegas has started expanding its smart park initiative to 12 more locations in a public safety effort. Deploying smart city technology in parks has allowed officials to monitor large crowds, gunshots, vandalism, breaking glass, and more.
Michael Sherwood, director of innovation and technology for the city of Las Vegas, said that understanding how many people visit parks and which facilities they use can help improve maintenance and operations, inform decisions about expansion and services, and protect residents.
Remote monitoring in the parks can improve efficiencies for public safety personnel, too. If sensors detect a visitor in the park after closing hours, automated recordings and remote systems can address the person before alerting officials.
As Las Vegas continues to accelerate its smart city projects throughout the city, it’s learning that a connected society can directly benefit citizens and is looking ahead to how smart city technologies can extend further to stadiums, shopping malls, and manufacturing facilities.