The scope and ambition of Google's research has increasingly broadened its horizon over the years, and steadily gone beyond the realms of the virtual world and transcended into the real. Google's moonshot projects have included everything that has hitherto only been in the realms of science fiction. In recent times, as part of those much talked about 'weird science' projects, Google has undertaken ventures as diverse as self-driving cars, smart jeans and potentially life-extending biotech research, amongst numerous other audacious endeavors. Now, Google says it will aim to improve urban life by rationalizing, reorganizing and restructuring urban planning and development with a view towards curbing pollution, reducing energy usage, streamlining transportation and in general, taking most of the negatives away from of city living. Towards that goal, Google Inc. is starting a new independent company called Sidewalk Labs, according to an announcement by the company's co-founder and CEO, Mr. Larry Page on his Google+ account.
The newly incorporated business venture will be based out of New York, and will be led by a former deputy mayor of economic development and rebuilding for New York City, Mr. Dan Doctoroff. The company is said to be a brainchild of Mr. Doctoroff himself, who envisioned and conceptualized the project along with a group of Googlers led by Mr. Page himself. Sidewalk Labs has released a statement of its own, in which it has described itself as an "urban innovation company", which will "develop technology at the intersection of the physical and digital worlds". At a personal level, Mr. Doctoroff said, the new company will require all the experience he's garnered throughout his entire career. "I do think this job is a convergence of my skills at a time of historic convergence for cities," he said.
On the aforementioned Google+ post, Mr. Page described the investment in the venture as "relatively modest" and described the project as something "very different from Google's core business". He expressed hope that the mission will "really improve people's lives, similar to Google[x] and Calico", referring to Google's secretive research labs for its out-of-the-box ideas, and the aforementioned biotech venture tasked with exploring the possibility of halting the aging process and treating age-related illnesses. As for Google's latest project, Mr. Page further wrote, "As more and more people around the world live, work and settle in cities, the opportunities for improving our urban environments are endless. Now it's time to hit the streets and get to work".