This Clark County City Could Soon Become the Smartest City in America

Amy Wilks is an editor, content manager, and professional writer who creates and manages online content for small businesses across the nation. When she is not attached to her computer she can be found in front of an easel, adding chapters to her new book, or spending quality time with her husband and seven children. She takes pride in providing encouragement, support and inspiration to the people in her community and has dedicated her life to making a difference in the lives of others.

When it comes to innovations in technology, government-run pilot projects, and new ideas, Clark County, Nevada has been an active participant for a number of years. For 2019 and beyond, Las Vegas is about to take center stage. And promoting impressive incentives for local businesses, clearing the way for the expansion of existing companies and the establishment of new markets, and turning the spotlight on pilot projects and new technology is just the beginning.

According to Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, Las Vegas wants to be “not only a smart city but the smartest city.”

As the Innovate.Vegas campaign continues to draw new technology to downtown corridors, Las Vegas city streets are becoming filled with autonomous shuttles, hi-tech cameras and sensors are making a difference in traffic management, and the city is leading the way to the future.

Here’s a quick look at what’s been done to help make Las Vegas one of the smartest, and most innovative cities in America, and what we can expect in the coming months and years.

Autonomous Vehicle Testing

Nevada was the first state in the nation to legalize autonomous vehicle testing and Las Vegas was the first city in the United States to put an autonomous shuttle on the road. As a proving ground for automated vehicles, Las Vegas understands the significance of developing, testing, and expanding automation technologies.

In 2018, Aptiv, an Ireland-based autonomous vehicle firm, opened a 130,000 square-foot technical center in Vegas. According to the company, it handles automated vehicle operations, research and development, data management and technology demonstration.

Driving New Technology in Nevada

An impressive network of high definition video cameras, motion and sound sensors, and IoT devices are monitoring activity in the Innovation District to help improve public safety and manage traffic. And in 2017, Israeli startup WayCare began using data from freeway sensors, hi-tech traffic lights, smartphones and specially equipped vehicles to analyze vehicle speeds, counts, and other factors to identify potential hazards and predict traffic conditions and accidents.

Incentives for Local Businesses

In 2018, more than $1 million was put toward projects in the redevelopment area of Las Vegas. This area includes the Symphony Park Development which will feature new retail and residential development near downtown. Additionally, the federal government provided the city with $55 million in additional New Markets Tax Credits which have helped to revitalize numerous buildings in the area. These projects will create an abundance of opportunities for current businesses, residents, expanding companies, and entrepreneurs alike.

On the Horizon in Clark County: UrbanLeap Has Launched

UrbanLeap, a startup that provides an effective innovation management platform for government-run pilot projects to try out new technology and ideas and coordinate smart city projects in one place, has entered into a 12-month contract with the city of Las Vegas.

Using the software, the Department of Technology and Innovation will be able to evaluate new ideas and proposals and track data from any of the city’s many pilot projects. The platform will enable the city to share data with stakeholders, Las Vegas residents, and public agencies, monitor progress, and make informed decisions about new proposals or continuing existing ones.

Since Las Vegas city council created the “innovation district” in 2016, the city has brought people counters, automated vehicles and shuttles, connected vehicle technology, and much more to Clark County for testing. It’s been a part of exciting milestones and massive failures. And technology keeps moving forward bringing new ideas and extraordinary careers to the area.

While the city may or may not reach its goal of becoming the smartest city in America, one thing is for sure. With all this testing, technology companies, Las Vegas, and the state of Nevada will definitely have learned something.

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