Denver's Smart City Neighborhood Comes Alive with Sleek Tech

Panasonic shows off smart bus shelters, autonomous shuttles and parking meters that find parking spots at Denver's Pena Station NEXT smart city.

LAS VEGAS -- At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Panasonic made a splash with a technology display about the Denver neighborhood that the company is helping to turn into a living smart city lab.

Electronic music pumps as the only audio in a "Glimpse into What is Coming for Denver's Future Smart City, Pena Station NEXT," a video which starts with a montage of Panasonic's most forward innovations. The tech company shows off the tools that will stock Denver's smart city, like an induction counter top for its future residences, smart tables that maintain diners' entrees and a smart bus stop that tells station riders when the next Uber will arrive, or if bikes are available at a nearby bikeshare hub.

According to the Denver Post, the neighborhood has been recently outfitted with LED street lights and a solar grid that helps power the development. The next upgrades on the list are:

  • Autonomous shuttles
  • WiFi coverage that spans the area
  • Smart parking that directs riders to available parking spots
  • Smart bus shelters that provide schedules and availability for shuttle, ride and bike transit options

The EasyMile EZ10 shuttles arrive in February with area WiFi to begin operating in the spring, according to George Karayannis, vice president of CityNow for Panasonic.

Screens at the bus shelter, which is expected to be completed this year, send data to nearby riders' smartphones using light.

Other tools with sensors will pull environmental and other data to enhance infrastructure efficiency, like transit schedules and lighting needs.

Panasonic's CityNow, a partner of Denver's Smart City program, has offices at Pena Station NEXT.

According to GovTech, the long-term plan is to create an interconnected city with apartment and townhouse residences with shops, restaurants and entertainment. It's inspired by Panasonic's Fujisawa, an interconnected gated community outside of Tokyo, Japan.

The city and its partners also plan to study net zero feasibility as the new smart city develops.

Read the original story on the Denver Post website.

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