As if it didn't already have enough moon shot projects on its hands, Google on Wednesday announced the creation of Sidewalk Labs, a new company from the tech giant that will use technology in an attempt to solve housing, transportation and other countless issues faced by urban cities around the globe.
The "urban innovation company" will focus its efforts on creating technologies and forming partnerships that will improve "city life for residents, businesses and governments," Google said on the new company's website. Leading Sidewalk Labs will be Dan Doctoroff, the former chief executive of Bloomberg and deputy mayor of economic development and rebuilding for the City of New York.
"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,” Doctoroff said in a statement.
Google CEO Larry Page took to his Google+ account to announce the new company, a notable and increasingly rare gesture considering Page has been taking more of a behind-the-scenes role at his company over the past year.
"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," Page said. "Making long-term, 10X bets like this is hard for most companies to do, but [Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin] and I have always believed that it’s important."
Sidewalk Labs will be joining the endless list of high-potential but long-term projects Google is already tackling, which include self-driving cars, smart contact lenses, airborne wind turbines, giant Wi-Fi balloons and smart jeans.