Las Vegas taps digital twin for sustainability
With a digital twin, the city can leverage street-level data collected through IoT sensors to model future energy use, emissions, mobility and emergency management.
To address its sustainability goals, Las Vegas announced plans to deploy digital twins to help the city model future energy use, emissions, mobility and emergency management.
At the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the host city revealed a digital twin of a seven square kilometer stretch of downtown. Under a partnership between digital twin platform provider Cityzenith and Terbine, which has developed an internet-of-things data monetization platform, the project is expected to help officials visualize street-level data collected through IoT sensors and Las Vegas’ 5G network to inform sustainability decisions.
City officials are currently focusing on projects that will “allow the city to review and experiment with the viability and validity of the technology,” Las Vegas Chief Innovation Officer Michael Sherwood told Smart Cities Dive.
To help reduce Las Vegas' overall energy footprint, city planners will use Cityzenith’s SmartWorldOS platform to simulate and optimize large-scale building projects using automated real-time energy monitoring and geo-tagged smart data layers.
“Initially, we are focusing on integrating these key technologies into this seven square kilometer area we have," Cityzenith CEO Michael Jansen said during a Nov. 23 video discussion with Cities Today. Really, it’s like putting that entire area on an EKG and monitoring everything that is going on,”
Cityzenith has already piloted its “Clean Cities - Clean Future” initiative in downtown Phoenix and the Navy Yard industrial park in Brooklyn. The program is working with cities to help them to cut carbon emissions from commercial buildings -- often the biggest culprits in terms of total emissions, accounting for 50-70% in larger metropolitan areas, Jansen said.
Sherwood said the Las Vegas digital twin is only in the very early stages of development, but that the project will collect information on issues related to air quality, emissions, mobility, noise pollution and traffic.
“This will be ‘wired’ into the actual city,” Terbine CEO David Knight said during the Cities Today panel. “That means that things happening on the streets, in the electrical grid, air quality and many other factors will be loaded into the digital twin. Eventually this will allow control by the city itself.”
For example, officials in the traffic department will be able to control the timing of streetlights in real time, Knight said. The digital twin of Las Vegas will also be driven by data coming from vehicles, electrical utilities, charging networks and municipal infrastructure and autonomous vehicles. Bringing together IoT, 5G and artificial intelligence, the project intends to leverage the same core technologies in other cities throughout the U.S. and eventually, the world.
The company plans to expand its net-zero pilots in New York City, Phoenix and Las Vegas while introducing a digital twin in Los Angeles next, followed by a number of other cities.
“We are one of the fastest growing regions in the United States, and as part of that, we have to start understanding the opportunities this digital twin modeling will allow us in predicting the future. We have to see what kind of impacts we can make today, and how they affect the city several years down the road,” Sherwood said. “The bottom line is that digital twins are the future of how cities will be managed and how they are operated.”