Panasonic Makes Peña Station Smarter

Panasonic is moving ahead with smart city installations at Peña Station, a rail stop just south of Denver International Airport in Colorado. LED street lights, which are 60 to 70 percent more energy efficient than standard street lights have already been installed with an IoT lighting platform which dims the lights when the street is empty or during a full moon. Plans are in place to install environmental sensors developed by Argonne National Laboratory that will monitor air particles, cloud coverage, noise, temperature, and humidity. The first self-driving shuttle, built by EasyMile, is expected be operational early next year. It will provide access between the station and Denver International Airport and travel at a top speed of 15 mph. An energy grid will be deployed that uses solar power for the day and batteries at night.

Currently, only the Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Division headquarters are residents, but construction of a 219-apartment unit will be begun next year.

“This is the city’s living lab,”  said George Karayannis, vice president of CityNow, the smart-city arm of Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Co. “They can bring new technology in and try it out at Peña Station, make sure the technology works and the vendors make sense and then create the business model for when and where we scale it in the city. Very few cities have this opportunity to try things before they have to make significant capital decisions. And it’s not so much the capital, but if a city decides to implement the technology, they’re making a 10- to 20-year commitment. You’re locked in. To have this living lab for the city is a phenomenal opportunity.”