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Google plans to use tech to improve urban living, and it doesn't require an app

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Posted at 9:34 AM, Jun 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-12 11:40:27-04

Google is working to help people get around town — app free.

The massive technology company has helped people search the internet, become a part of American lexicon and even been a corporate leader in April Fools’ Day humor.

Now Google has announced the company is creating Sidewalk Labs, a company designed to merge technology with infrastructure. Though details are scarce, the goal is to help make transportation more efficient, keep living costs down and reduce energy use.

“We are at the beginning of a historic transformation in cities,” Sidewalk labs CEO Dan Doctoroff said in a news release. “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.”

Doctoroff was the CEO of Bloomberg LP and the Deputy Mayor of Economic Development and Rebuilding for the City of New York.

This is not the first time Google has been involved in a project beyond the internet. The company has invested in a slew of renewable energy projects.

“By improving urban technology, it’s possible to significantly improve the lives of billions of people around the world,” Google CEO Larry Page said in a news release. “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.

“Every time I talk with Dan I feel an amazing sense of opportunity because of his passion for all the ways technology can help transform cities to be more livable, flexible and vibrant. And when you combine that with his experience as an investor, in NYC government, and as CEO of the large information company Bloomberg LP, I can’t imagine a better person to lead these efforts.”

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