Tech test city finds a home in New Mexico

It’s a city-in-miniature where no one actually lives, coming soon to … Lea County, N.M. That the word now on the location of the planned New Mexico test center that popped into the news last fall.

Soon to be established by Pegasus Global Holdings — at a cost of a cool $1 billion — the Center for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation (CITE) [PDF] will exist solely to test the urban and suburban technologies of the future.

The largest portion of the CITE will be modeled after a mid-sized modern American city. The idea here is to integrate real-world urban and suburban environments with all the typical working infrastructure elements that make up today’s cities, offering customers the (highly) unique opportunity to test and evaluate urban technologies in conditions that most closely simulate real-world applications.

Pegasus Global Holdings had long had New Mexico in its sights for the project, and received help from the New Mexico Partnership in selecting where to build. The Partnership, on behalf of Pegasus, solicited proposals from communities across the state interested in becoming home to the CITE (and the undisclosed number of jobs that come with the project).

Sixteen New Mexico communities responded with proposals to host the “ghost city,” and the Partnership convened a committee comprised of members of its public advisory board to evaluate the proposals and determine which were viable options for the CITE project.

The top choices were sent to Pegasus, which chose Lea County.

According to Inhabitat, CITE’s City Lab, a full-scale, fully functional “test city,” will occupy around 400 acres and include urban, suburban and rural zones with corresponding infrastructure. The whole shebang will be pre-wired for data collection giving researchers the ability to simulate system-wide scenarios and then draw data from such activities on such tech as intelligent traffic systems, next-generation wireless networks, and even automated washing machines and self-flushing toilets.

Other areas will include the Field Lab District (a large portion of land area devoted to future public or private lab development;  Backbone (an underground operations and maintenance system that connects the entire CITE facility); and the Research Campus, where teams can collaborate on assorted projects.

Susan DeFreitas, EarthTechling