International technology development company Pegasus Global Holdings announced today plans to build a fake city in the New Mexico desert, which will serve as a testing ground for a variety of next-generation technologies. The entirely uninhabited city will encompass up to 20 square miles of desert, and cost approximately $200 million to build.
Dubbed “The Center for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation,” the fake metropolis will include many of the features of a regular mid-sized city, with “urban canyons, suburban neighborhoods, rural communities and distant localities,” according to the press release. It will also have all the infrastructure of a fully-operational city, including water, power and standard roads.
Pegasus Global says “The Center” will offer a one-of-a-kind “opportunity to replicate the real-world challenges of upgrading existing city infrastructure to that of a 21st Century smart city, operating within a green economy.” It will also let companies and other organizations “test the benefits and costs of their proposed next-generation innovations and technologies, hardware and software.”
“The idea for The Center was born out of our own company’s challenges in trying to test new and emerging technologies beyond the confines of a sterile lab environment,” said Robert H. Brumley, Pegasus Global’s CEO, in a statement. “As entrepreneurs, we saw a global need and stepped up to address it. The Center will allow private companies, not for profits, educational institutions and government agencies to test in a unique facility with real world infrastructure, allowing them to better understand the cost and potential limitations of new technologies prior to introduction.”
In addition to providing a place to test out next-generation technologies, The Center will also create 350 direct jobs, and up to 3,500 indirect jobs through construction, the support industry and contractors, according to Pegasus Global.
While the specific technologies that will be developed using The Center remain to be seen, Pegasus Global has a few ideas in mind, including the ability to test the true cost of solar implementation, smart grid technology, next-gen wireless networks, Intelligent Transportation System technologies and driverless cars.
Pegasus Global did not immediately respond to our request for comment about whether specific companies and organizations have already expressed interest in using the facility.