Portland Cancels Google Smart City Plan

Google’s sister company Sidewalk Labs has tabled plans to build a smart city in Portland, Oregon after disagreements with Portland Metro.

Sidewalk Labs had handed off production of the smart city to Replica, another subsidiary of Google’s Alphabet Company. The intent of the project was to track mobility patterns in Portland and provide them to city personnel for planning and construction.

Replica told news outlets that the project ended due to disagreements over user privacy, and that it was uncomfortable with the level of data that Portland Metro was asking for. Portland Metro has formally made a statement that the project has ended, wishing Sidewalk Labs luck in their future endeavors.

Sidewalk Labs also recently scrapped plans for a digital city in Toronto in 2020, following speculations about the scale of the project. The project was to include automated transport and heated sidewalks for a massive portion of Toronto that is currently in disarray. 

Sidewalk is currently working on AI projects with another Google subsidiary Delve, as well as funding a parking project dubbed Pebble.


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