What technology is at the core of autonomous vehicles and smart cities? You guessed it – lidar. At least five years ago I predicted that lidar would become more important than GPS, but I never thought it would be at the heart of driverless vehicles and the Internet of Things – IoT.
While in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show last month a number of companies were showing off their ideas about how to use lidar and the IoT to make a city smart. Cisco sponsored an event to show off its new Kinetic platform for smart cities.
At the event, Michael Sherwood, Director of Information Technologies for the City of Las Vegas, explained how Las Vegas is using technology in its downtown “Innovation District,” beginning with a focus on safety and security.
Currently the effort includes twelve intersections, which are served by smart street lights that include sensors and offers services such as free Wi-Fi; all are connected by fiber to the nearby Las Vegas City Hall. The sensors feature things like lidar from Quanergy, and it all hooks up to the Cisco platform.
Implementation started in a small area in 2017, and air quality, traffic, and pedestrian congestion are being monitored. Right now, the data is only used by the IT group and Cisco, but there are plans to extend it to law enforcement as well.
These are business drivers that are going to change the world and it would not be happening without lidar. It’s still early.