London: “World first” scientific ghost city, which will cost 1 billion dollars, is set to be built in New Mexico to test the latest next-generation technology.
Researchers will use the facility in Lea County, near Hobbs, to look at everything from intelligent traffic systems and next-generation wireless networks to automated washing machines and self-flushing toilets, Sky News reported.
The town will be modelled on the real city of Rock Hill, South Carolina, complete with roads, houses and commercial buildings, old and new.
No one will live there, although they could as houses will include all the necessities, like appliances and plumbing.
The point of the town is to enable researchers to test new technologies on existing infrastructure without interfering in everyday life.
For instance, while some researchers will be testing smart technologies on old grids, others might be using the streets to test self-driving cars.
“It brings so many great opportunities and puts us on a world stage,” Hobbs Mayor Sam Cobb said.
The city will be built by Pegasus Holdings and its New Mexico subsidiary, CITE Development.
The Centre for Innovation, Technology and Testing (CITE) is being billed as a first-of-its kind smart city that will be developed on about 15 square miles west of Hobbs.
Bob Brumley, senior managing director of Pegasus Holdings, said work on the city will begin by June 30.
The initial development cost is estimated at 400 million dollars, although Brumley estimates the overall investment in the project to top 1 billion dollars.
The project is expected to create 350 permanent jobs and about 3,500 indirect jobs in its design, development, construction and ongoing operational phases.