Two years ago, in 2016, electronics giant Panasonic teamed up with the city of Denver, Colorado, to create a futuristic smart city from scratch, using a 400-acre stretch of available land near the Denver International Airport. It was envisaged as a decade-long project, but just two years later, the steps being made to apply technology to the new city’ s road system show that considerable progress is already being made and the project is under way.
The project is part of Panasonic’ s CityNOW Initiative, which aims to create economically friendly, technologically friendly, liveable cities in several places around the world. The Denver smart city project is Panasonic’ s second one. The first was Fujisawa smart town, in Japan, which was an eight-year project that went into operation in 2015.
Since the project launched, the new smart city area has been fitted with WiFi, security cameras, environmental sensors, interactive kiosks, and a microgrid that can power the entire area for 72 hours in the event of a power outage. The latest progress was on the city’ s roads, which are developed using smart road technologies.
Denver and Panasonic cooperated with the Colorado Department of Transportation in 2017 to develop a $72 million system called Road X. This system attempts to reduce vehicle accidents by facilitating communications between vehicles and city infrastructure, suggesting optimal navigation routes based on real-time traffic patterns or implementing “virtual guardrails’ to notify drivers when they drift out of lanes. For 2018, more road development is foreseen. Panasonic, along with the French self-driving bus developer EasyMile, will introduce an autonomous shuttle that will connect the city’ s rail station to bus routes on Denver’ s Tower Road.
The new smart city is not expected to finish before 2026, but the considerable progress already being made does not only provide a positive indication that the project is on track and taking shape already. It also allows for the development and testing of new technologies that can be used elsewhere, it provides a model for the simultaneous development of other smart city projects, and it stands as an example of how science and technology can improve daily life for all people.
You can watch a short video by Panasonic on the new smart city, here.
The original article can be found in Futurism.