Google launches urban transport business


Google has formed a new start-up company to tackle urban transport problems and improve infrastructure through technology.

Sidewalk Labs, formed in a partnership between the Internet giant and former Bloomberg LP CEO Dan Doctoroff, will develop new solutions to improve city life.

Based in New York, the firm will aim to address issues such as transport efficiency, pollution and cycle safety with new product and digital platforms. It will also aim to address rising energy usage, government operations and flexible management of infrastructure.

Sidewalk Labs will mark a further foray by Google into the world of transportation after the company last year caused shockwaves by announcing it was trialling driverless cars in California.

Co-founder of Google, Larry Page, said the mounting number of people settling in cities meant opportunities for improving urban environments were now ‘endless’.

‘By improving urban technology, it’s possible to significantly improve the lives of billions of people around the world. With Sidewalk, we want to supercharge existing efforts in areas such as housing, energy, transportation and government to solve real problems that city-dwellers face every day,’ Mr Page added.

Mr Doctoroff said: ‘We are at the beginning of a historic transformation in cities. 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.

‘We hope that Sidewalk will play a major role in developing technology products, platforms and advanced infrastructure that can be implemented at scale in cities around the world.’

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