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In an effort to improve city life, Sidewalk Labs will focus on incubating urban technologies which will address problems like the cost of living, transportation, and energy usage. Google says that some of those issues are the biggest ones that cities face and that not enough is being done by anyone to solve them.
Sidewalk Labs will work to form partnerships with other companies to improve city life, while also developing new products and platforms on their own to make progress. In his announcement post, Larry Page acknowledged that Sidewalk Labs is out of Google’s core businesses, but defended the move by saying that it’s an area in which Google thinks it can really improve people’s lives:
While this is a relatively modest investment and very different from Google’s core business, it’s an area where I hope we can really improve people’s lives, similar to Google[x] and Calico. Making long-term, 10X bets like this is hard for most companies to do, but Sergey and I have always believed that it’s important. And as more and more people around the world live, work and settle in cities, the opportunities for improving our urban environments are endless. Now it’s time to hit the streets and get to work!
Specific details regarding the projects Sidewalk Labs will take on remain sparse at this point. You can, however, read the full press release from Google + Sidewalk Labs below.
Sidewalk Labs is an interesting move by Google, Larry, and Sergey, but it is interesting in a way that will be beneficial to millions of people. Similar to its Project Loon, which hopes to provide internet to people in third-world countries, Sidewalk Labs has the ability to create a movement that may have never even been started without Google, and that’s something everyone can appreciate.