City of the future now in Denver

DENVER -- A model of the city of the future has opened in Denver and plans to attract city leaders, utility companies and real estate developers from around the world.

Pansonic's CityNOW opened in a 100,000-plus-square-foot warehouse off Pena Boulevard on Wednesday.

The technology hub has been 1 1/2 years in the making.

"We have the whole specter of what you find in a city," CityNOW executive director George Karayannis said.

This includes an autonomous self-driving shuttle that could soon drive people around Pena Station and maybe, one day, downtown Denver.

Plus, CityNOW has smart street lights. They're hollow so they can hold Wi-Fi routers and have built-in 5G antennas and security cameras.

They can also be dimmed or flashed in an emergency to help first responders find someone who needs help.

The innovation center also has a micro-apartment that's meant to showcase what affordable housing in a city such as Denver could look like.

It's 320 square feet, but makes use of that space with a Murphy bed and plenty of built-in space.

Panasonic also has a partnership with the Colorado Department of Transportation to help use technology to make roads safer.

Together, the two are outfitting a few vehicles with sensors that send and receive information 10 times every second.

That will allow vehicles to talk with each other and smart towers to avoid crashes and traffic backups.

CDOT will start installing the senors along Interstate 70 west of Golden soon. And in the next few years, all new vehicles will have the sensors built-in.

CityNOW is not open to the public. But Panasonic is partnering with the Rockies for a living and entertainment district.