Las Vegas’ Community Healing Garden and a part of Las Vegas Boulevard are the new downtown locations added to the Accelerate Smart park project started by NTT Corp. in partnership with the municipality, the company announced. The expansion of the community infrastructure project comes as hotels, casinos and other businesses have just started to re-open after COVID-19 business restrictions.
Under the partnership, the Accelerate Smart project will expand this summer to add sensors to Bob Baskin Park, Rotary Park, Stupak Park and Ethel Pearson Park, and six more parks by the end of the year.
The initial pilot project, which began in 2018, reduced traffic jams and helped reduce wrong-way driving. Now the existing project will be upgraded with real-time safety and maintenance alerts to improve public safety and user experience.
Optical and audio sensors will be embedded in 14 areas in the city to automate a reporting system that notifies law enforcement when large crowds, gunshots, breaking glass and vandalism are detected. This will improve situational awareness and traffic management.
“Cities that learn, understand and invest in technology will be the cities of the future, and Las Vegas is at the forefront of innovation,” said Michael Sherwood, director of innovation and technology, city of Las Vegas, in a prepared statement. “Our Smart Cities pilot has been such a success that we are excited to expand the program to several new locations in the heart of our city, which will continue to improve the lives of our residents and visitors.”
Now that the project is scaling fast, the dashboard will provide access to sensors, data streams and analytics for event monitoring and predictions. The sensors and micro data centers use sound and video to collect data and send it to the NTT Accelerate Smart data platform. It combines this data with local reports of crime and weather, cognitive analytics and machine learning to establish patterns and inform law enforcement about atypical behavior.
“As we accelerate our smart cities project in Las Vegas, it demonstrates how a more connected society directly benefits citizens,” said Bill Baver, Go to Market Leader, Smart World Team, NTT, in a prepared statement. “Cities like Las Vegas are capitalizing on successful pilots and beginning to imagine the benefits these technologies can have for their residents and visitors. However, smart is not confined to city limits, as it also extends to stadiums, shopping malls and manufacturing facilities by leveraging similar concepts that have been proven successful in Las Vegas.”
The smart solution leverages NTT’s Cognitive Foundation architecture, hyperconverged infrastructure, IoT gateways and virtualization software hosting predictive analytics applications.
In an interview with Cities Today, Sherwood explained knowing people’s behavior in parks helps the city understand maintenance and operations issues, as well as make informed decisions about investments and new services. Staff can, for example, identify unauthorized access in closed parks and inform the person, before contacting law enforcement, as well as keep track of trash volumes.
“This is a great tool where we see a lot of efficiencies as far as our public safety personnel. You don’t have to physically drive to the park to provide safety; you can monitor it remotely,” he said.
Sherwood said the measure aims to increase public safety, considers it less intrusive than existing systems in Europe, and claims nothing is done with the personally identifiable data collected.
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