Las Vegas: it's more than just a city of bright lights and entertainment. Behind the glitz and glamour lies a bustling, innovative community that is forward-thinking on technology and climate action. In this blog, we'll explore why Halo chose Las Vegas as the perfect location for its expansion and how the city's unique landscape and supportive environment have contributed to our success.
In this desert oasis, we found everything we needed. Local governments and organizations here are incredibly supportive of forward-thinking policies. The specific climate and landscape were just what we needed for our technology.
After two years of meticulous research and development in San Francisco, “we were ready to roll out our product,” stated Halo’s Founder and CEO, Anand. “But working with California regulators was tough. We needed a city that was open to new ideas and technology. We looked at six different states. But when I visited Vegas and talked to city officials, they responded just how I wanted. They said, 'This vision is amazing. What do we do to make it happen?' That was it. Two weeks later, I packed everything into a minivan and moved to Vegas.”
Nevada is a business-friendly state with a well-known low cost of living. Unlike other start-up hubs like San Francisco, where a high cost of living can be a hurdle, Las Vegas offers affordable options. This allowed our remote team to relocate and access a growing workforce pool locally.
This way, our hardware and software teams could work together under one roof. We've grown from a one-person team to a group 26 based in Las Vegas. CEO Anand Nandakumar is happy to be settling into the neighborhood. “We're able to afford really good buildings that we like. In the central part of Vegas where it's amazing because you can walk to coffee shops, you can walk to restaurants.”
The Las Vegas climate and landscape played a big part in location considerations. Our technology required a flat landscape with predictable weather for regular and consistent testing. Factors such as rain or hilly terrains would make our operations more difficult.
Nevada was the first state to permit self-driving cars back in 2011. This policy paved the way for Halo.car to receive the first-ever license for remote piloting of an autonomous vehicle fleet.
“With the DMV’s help, we are the first company in the world to secure a permit to start a fully remotely driven car-share service on public roads. It's a huge milestone for us. We worked very closely with the state, we very closely with the DMV of Nevada, and we're super proud to say that we got this secured,” explains Anand.
With this license Halo.car has had the opportunity to achieve multiple milestones. In 2022 we began testing our remote pilot technology on Las Vegas roads. In early 2023, we are now operating in Las Vegas, serving local and tourist customers across the valley. The decision to expand across the entire valley was an exciting moment, as Anand describes here:
“When people come to Vegas, and they go to Halo.car, we will deliver the car to them, no matter wherever they are inside Vegas. We first started with only downtown first. Very, very small little area of delivery in collection of the car that we expanded all across Vegas last year, late last year. That was a huge win for us.”
Due to the intrinsic constraints of being a desert, Nevada has been taking sustainability seriously for a long time. The Southern Nevada Water Authority has taken repeated measures to ensure water security for Las Vegas and surrounding communities. Clark County, the region around Las Vegas that Halo serves, is leading the charge in sustainability, strongly focusing on electrifying mobility.
We sat down with Clark County Commissioner, Justin Jones, to discuss the county’s new climate action plan: “Part of our code update we're going through right now is to make sure that all of the new homes built here are EV-ready…We've also been working on initiatives to encourage solar on homes so they can be solar-ready homes.” changes expand beyond the home as Commissioner Jones adds, “And for commercial settings: You've seen so much over the last year how shopping centers and industrial places are ensuring access to charging infrastructure.”
Clark County is a leading advocate for sustainability, and Justin’s team recently passed the All-In Clark County sustainability plan. The All-in Clark Clark County initiative has engaged the community in over 220,000 conversations, creating a shared vision for a sustainable future. They're working on converting their fleets to electric and setting ambitious goals for public transportation. They're also implementing code updates to make new homes EV-ready, making it easier for people to charge their vehicles at home.
Vegas is more than just a city to us – it's a community that has embraced our vision and worked with us to create a sustainable future. With the support of local governments, organizations, and our incredible partners, we've established a solid foundation in Las Vegas. As we continue to grow and expand, we look forward to driving the city toward a more sustainable future, one ride at a time.