A Science Lab in a Metro? Denver’s Way of Developing Smart City Technology

To test its latest projects—from the first driverless shuttle to lower LED street lights—Japanese electronics corporation Panasonic has set up a lab of the future in a metro station in Denver. The American city is known for advancing sustainable technologies and renewable energy, and with this new partnership, they’ll be able to create technologies that will help them meet their sustainability goals, as well as improve mobility and connectivity. Find out what experiments are taking place and how this will impact e-transport both in the US and in European cities. — Philippe Leonard


A glimpse into Panasonic’s projects

As part of the company’s CityNOW project, Panasonic is developing solutions to drive forward the development of smart cities, offering services from cost-efficient energy systems to remote monitoring technologies in the healthcare sector. The goal, according to Jeffrey Siegel, VP of Marketing for Panasonic’s Enterprise Solutions Company, is to improve the quality of people’s lives and make the world a better place…a vision of technology developed in the service of helping people live safer, healthier, more productive and more fulfilling lives.”

For its first project in Fujisawa, Japan, Panasonic transformed one of its former factories near Tokyo into a sustainable smart town featuring EV charging stations, security systems, smart home technology, and a renewable energy system that generates enough off-grid power to last up to three days.

Driving development in Denver

In 2014, the company relocated one of its divisions to Denver’s Peña Station, with a 162-hectare site that offers the mass transit connectivity they were looking for. Here are a few of the futuristic projects already underway at Peña Station Next:

-Lower-energy Smart LED street lights at the airport that dim according to the surrounding foot traffic

-The first driverless shuttle, which transports visitors from the rail stop to Panasonic’s new headquarters

-A micro grid energy storage solution for the airport in partnership with Xcel Energy, testing solar collection and battery storage for more efficient energy systems

-Street lamps housing HD security cameras to improve public safety

By looking at the station as a smart city laboratory, Panasonic is pioneering a movement that connects citizens and businesses with the latest developments in sustainable technologies. By allowing these parties to work together to design a connected community that everyone will benefit from, the hope is that this project will serve as a model for other cities to follow.