Innovation happens here
Today, the city known for state-of-the-art fun, is also regarded world-wide as one of the best places to test and develop technologies around autonomous vehicles. Its innovative and abundant start-ups are crafting new ideas for the next big thing with particular focus on transportation and the region’s primary economic driver – the tech-based gaming industry.
When Zappos.com moved its headquarters to downtown Las Vegas in 2013, the e-commerce giant with more than 1500 employees and annual sales of more than $2 billion, helped to spawn new development in the area, attracting several small to mid-size tech companies and start-ups.
Las Vegas as a Global Center of Innovation and Technology
Las Vegas is an international stage for innovation and technology as the host city of two massive trade shows annually: Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). Building on the strong tech foundation provided by Switch, a global technology solutions corporation that operates the world’s only Tier 5-rated colocation facility at its core campus in Southern Nevada, the city of Las Vegas established in 2016 an Innovation District.
The Innovation District - Emerging Center of Technology, Testing and Collaboration
The Innovation District is envisioned as a center for testing groundbreaking technology in the areas of alternative energy, transportation and social infrastructure. It is also a proving ground for collaborative efforts between the city and its new technology partners in the areas of fiber, transit, communication and the Internet of Things.
The city is working to transform the downtown urban core into a technology incubator focused on safe, efficient, sustainable and environmentally conscious mobility such as autonomous and connected vehicles. With 1,340 miles of streets, the city is investing in efficient vehicular travel, a robust road network and street improvements – all with the goal of improving motorist mobility and safety.
Examples to date of innovative initiatives and milestones that are advancing the city’s goals include:
- Autonomous Vehicle Licensing– Nevada was the first state in the country to pass legislation legalizing autonomous testing
- State of the Art Regional Traffic Signal System – The Freeway and Arterial System of Transportation (FAST) operated by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) is one of the first integrated intelligent transportation systems in the country. This system can support data exchange for testing of connected and autonomous vehicles.
- Development of Robust Downtown Wireless Network - The city of Las Vegas is currently developing a public-private, 4G or better, wireless network in downtown Las Vegas to support communication between vehicles, roadside infrastructure and traffic management centers.
- GPS Base Station Network - The GPS Base Station Network is used to provide highly accurate land measurements and road mapping that better meets the specificity required to operate Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and autonomous self-driving cars.
- Lidar Mapping of Downtown Roadways - Lidar mapping provides an accurate model of above- and below-ground infrastructure to create a “3D” city. Utilizing terrestrial and mobile high-definition survey scanning and accuracy features, this system is used in programming autonomous vehicles.
- GOMed - This project will provide autonomous and connected vehicle service, pedestrian safety devices, and smart transit shelters into the Las Vegas Medical District from Downtown Las Vegas.