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Google-linked smart city plan ditched in Portland

February 24, 2021 11:32 am
The plan was to track mobility in the city to help inform transport policy. [Source: BBC]

A smart city project started by Google’s sister firm Sidewalk Labs to track mobility patterns in the US city of Portland has been shelved.

Last year, Sidewalk also ditched an ambitious project to build a digital city in Toronto, following controversy about the scale of its plans.

Portland confirmed the project would no longer go ahead.

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The scheme had most recently been in the hands of a spin-off company, Replica.

Sidewalk Labs began piloting location data software in Portland in May 2019, and the product Replica became a spin-off company in September of that year.

The software used non-identifiable mobile location data to show how people move through a city.

The plan was to use the data to make policy decisions about where to build bike lanes, how and when to repair roads and to make sure bus services were efficient and reaching all communities.

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