- The City of Las Vegas, in partnership with the state government of Nevada and Japanese company Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT), announced late last week an agreement to advance smart city technologies in the city.
- Under the agreement, Las Vegas will use NTT video cameras and sound sensors to improve traffic management in an area of the city’s Innovation District. The trio of partners will also explore a new briefing center downtown to help educate residents and visitors on the benefits of connected communities. A trial period begins this spring.
- "The future is now, and government must be ready to embrace technologies that can help to address community issues and make cities more livable," Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said in a statement. "The city of Las Vegas is honored to be among the top digital cities in the country. We will continue to push the envelope with partnerships with companies like NTT, setting the stage for continued relationships and breakthroughs.”
In a statement, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said Las Vegas wants to be "not only a smart city, but the smartest city," and the deal announced with NTT should help advance that goal. City officials noted it is in keeping with the wider Innovate.Vegas push, which looks to concentrate smart city technology in Vegas’ downtown core and looks to serve as the home of autonomous vehicles (AVs), partnerships with ride-hailing and mobility companies and other initiatives.
Las Vegas has also been uniquely positioned in the smart city race, as its buildings and infrastructure is all 50 years old at most, meaning that practices like the laying of fiber underground is already standard. Meanwhile, forward-looking conferences such as CES come into town regularly and have often used the city as a test bed for innovations. At Smart Cities Week in Washington, DC earlier this year, Don Jacobson, Business Partner for Innovation in Information Technologies at the City of Las Vegas, said the city’s casinos have been considered “smart for 30 years” due to their use of facial recognition technology and automation.
Initiatives that use technology to improve the safety of residents and visitors are especially paramount in a city like Las Vegas, which welcomes millions of people from outside its borders each year. And this new partnership could expand to other cities in Nevada, in keeping with the growing trend toward more regional approaches to issues.
“We plan to leverage and expand our connected technologies to other cities in Nevada, while also deploying similar solutions that will benefit stadiums, manufacturing facilities and other locations where we can help improve public safety,” Jun Sawada, President and CEO of NTT, said in a statement.