Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has plans to build its own smart city, according to a new report.
The Information reports that Sidewalk Labs, an Alphabet subsidiary, is trying to find a test location to create a “digital district”, to trial the idea of a smart city.
Parts of Denver and Detroit are apparently being looked at as potential locations. The city would be a test-bed for new technologies from superfast internet to autonomous cars.
“Some 100 city planning experts, researchers, and technologists have been involved with the project,” writes The Information, “including Stuart Miller, the CEO of home builder Lennar, Anthony Townsend, research director of Institute of the Future, Standford professor Balaji Prabhaar, and Harvard economist Ed Glaeser. The consulting firm McKinsey has also been advising.”
It’s reported to be called “Project Sidewalk” internally, and is waiting to be given the go ahead by Alphabet CEO Larry Page “in the coming weeks”.
“If Mr. Page gives the green light, [Sidewalk Labs] could solicit bids from counties and states as soon as later this year,” the report reads.
Current cities said to be in the running for a trial district include Detroit and Denver.
According to the report, the “digital district” would be a “test-bed for new technologies from superfast internet to autonomous cars”.
Sidewalk Labs is described as Alphabet’s “urban innovation organization”. It is headed up by Daniel L. Doctoroff, the former deputy mayor of New York City.
Alphabet has made no official announcement regarding plans to build a futuristic city.