The ultimate role of any government is to better the lives of its citizens, just as that of technology is to better the lives of its users.
With these matching end goals, public and private sector technology partnerships toward far-reaching innovation make sense — and the city of Las Vegas is taking a lead in this regard.
“While we have operational IT, we also have our innovation unit that works on next-generation technology,” said Michael Sherwood (pictured), chief innovation officer of the City of Las Vegas. “So, Las Vegas was one of the first cities in the United States to have an autonomous vehicle drive in mixed-flow traffic, meaning it was out there driving alongside normal cars.”
Sherwood spoke with industry analysts Dave Vellante and David Nicholson at theCUBE @ Fal.Con 2022, during an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed the vast public sector use cases for cutting-edge technologies, such as autonomous transportation, and the increasing cybersecurity landscape. (* Disclosure below.)
Delivering the future, one city at a time
Being part of the government’s larger whole, every city is riddled with rigidity and inflexible bureaucracy. But Las Vegas has found ways to push past those rigidities and legacy systems and create programs driving innovation in public infrastructure and amenities. The city’s Innovation District, located downtown, is the physical embodiment of this commitment, according to Sherwood.
“This Innovation District is where we test out new technologies,” he explained. “One of the things we’re testing out is computer vision. Our smart parks program, for example, is focused on providing better security and enjoyment of those amenities without providing physical labor to constantly patrol.”
The City is mostly using cameras, computer vision and different types of AI algorithms to manage the park. But it’s important to note that building a smart city comes with its fair share of problems — chief of which are cybersecurity-related, according to Sherwood.
“It’s the cyber issues that go along with becoming more advanced,” he explained. “And as you bring innovation in, you start bleeding the lines of what’s government and what’s private. And then how do you continue to have the data transmission between these multiple entities? How do you keep the endpoint secure?”
The City is learning as it goes, and it’s getting a lot of help from its partners, including CrowdStrike Holdings Inc., which is a major component in the City’s security posture.
“We use them as endpoint protection. We depend on CrowdStrike and their capabilities to ensure the safety of our digital assets,” Sherwodd stated. “Now it’s more about, as we migrate, using our partners, our relationship with CrowdStrike to start securing not only our endpoints, but start looking at the cloud space as well.”
Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of theCUBE @ Fal.Con 2022:
(* Disclosure: CrowdStrike Holdings Inc. and the City of Las Vegas sponsored this segment of theCUBE. CrowdStrike, the City of Las Vegas and other sponsors do not have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)