Google unveils Sidewalk Labs initiative to improve cities1 min read . Updated: 11 Jun 2015, 08:46 AM IST
Sidewalk will explore how technology can address challenges that extend beyond helping with traffic conditions or finding apartments
San Francisco: Google Inc. is backing a new business with the goal of bringing innovation and new technology into cities, aiming to improve urban life for residents, businesses and governments.
The initiative, called Sidewalk Labs, will be headed up by Dan Doctoroff, a former deputy mayor of New York City who more recently was the chief executive officer of Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News. The New York-based organization will “develop technology at the intersection of the physical and digital worlds," the new company said in a statement Wednesday.
The investment is “modest" for Google, CEO Larry Page said in a Web post, without disclosing an amount. He compared Sidewalk Labs to Google X, Google’s research lab, and Calico, a Google-funded company that focuses on health and well-being. Google has also been active in building a self-driving car and other technologies beyond its main Web-search advertising business.
“As more and more people around the world live, work and settle in cities, the opportunities for improving our urban environments are endless," Page wrote in the post. “Now it’s time to hit the streets and get to work."
Sidewalk will explore how technology can address challenges that extend beyond helping with traffic conditions or finding apartments. The company plans to build products, platforms and partnerships to tackle issues such as making transportation more efficient, lowering the cost of living and reducing energy usage.
“We are at the beginning of a historic transformation in cities," Doctoroff, who left Bloomberg in December, said in the statement. “At a time when the concerns about urban equity, costs, health and the environment are intensifying, unprecedented technological change is going to enable cities to be more efficient, responsive, flexible and resilient." Bloomberg