Sidewalk Labs, the smart city Alphabet spinoff that’s building an urban tech hub in Toronto, is already spinning off a new venture of its own. Coord is a new cloud-based platform that integrates a city’s ever-growing range of transit options. The idea is to allow urban dwellers to use Google Maps to check transit times and modes across bike share, public transit, car share, and ride-hailing options, and more—and then book or pay for their chosen mode right in the app.
On the flip side, the platform keeps all of a city’s transportation-related data in one place and offers companies access to that data in order to coordinate services (Coord! see what they did there?). This move falls into a bigger trend of using cameras and apps to track city dwellers in order to put data behind city planning and services.
“By serving as the coordination layer for new mobility services, navigation tools, and urban infrastructure, Coord can help unlock a seamless trip experience for people in cities and inspire new solutions to urban mobility challenges,” wrote Stephen Smyth, the new CEO of Coord.
“Coord can help a ride-hail service reduce curbside congestion by enabling it to locate a legal pick-up or drop-off zone. It can help a navigation app feature trip options that users can book in-app, including a nearby bike-share dock. It can help a car-share service bill members for tolls in real-time, giving people a better sense of the true cost of their trip.”