Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is running a secret project to take over public transit in cities across America, according to a report in The Guardian published Monday.
The Guardian‘s Mark Harris reports that an Alphabet subsidiary named Sidewalk Labs, which splintered off from Google last June, plans to use cloud-based software called Flow to improve efficiency and ease of movement through urban centers.
Its high-tech services, which it calls “new superpowers to extend access and mobility”, could make it easier to drive and park in cities and create hybrid public/private transit options that rely heavily on ride-share services such as Uber. But they might also gut traditional bus services and require cities to invest heavily in Google’s own technologies, experts fear.
Some of these new measures include subsidiaries for low-income residents to use ride-shares from companies like Uber; integrating information about traffic, schedules, and fares from multiple modes of transport to allow users to make the best option; and allowing private businesses to rent out parking spaces on a reservation basis.
[image: Yessums via Wikicommons]
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