Fast Company's Jessica Leber reports that Sidewalk Labs—the urban innovation company formed by Google's Alphabet—announced today that it will partner with the U.S. Department of Transportation to develop a new platform that will apply Google's wealth of transportation data to city transit planning.
Called Flow, the platform aims to create a detailed snapshot of real-time traffic by aggregating anonymized traffic data from Google's apps in collaboration with other data sources, such as the city's data and a network of sensor equipped kiosks built by Sidewalk Labs.
Seven mid-sized cities that are finalists in the DOT’s Smart Cities Challenge, including San Francisco, Austin, and Denver, would be the ones to first test and co-develop the platform. Sidewalk Labs plans to build 100 kiosks in four neighborhoods of the winning city that would offer free Wi-Fi access to citizens and collect sensor data, such as air quality and noise information. They would be similar to the LinkNYC kiosks that Sidewalk Labs is helping to build in New York City today.