Sidewalk Labs, a unit of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc. has just signed a deal with Waterfront Toronto to create a new kind of neighborhood demonstrating how data-driven technology can improve city life.
$50 million will be invested in the yearlong planning process for the 12-acre district of Quayside. If plans push through, it will include 3.3 million square feet of space to be used for residential, office, and commercial space, including a new headquarters for Google in Canada.
Smart city plans include the banning of private cars allowing for a more pedestrian-friendly district. Because the city is going to be heavily pedestrianized, streets will be narrow.
Autonomous vehicles and freight robots will operate in the streets and underground tunnels. This includes industrial robots that pass through an underground network of utility tunnels to manage the collection of trash and recyclables.
Self-driving bots will be controlled via apps like Waymo and Lyft. Another app will also be developed to manage parking rates based on real-time transit availability.
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