Sidewalk Labs: Google Starts Urban Innovation Venture

Google is moving from search engine to city streets with a new venture focusing on improving the quality of life for people living in cities.

The technology giant said it has created a company called Sidewalk Labs that will develop new products, platforms and partnerships that focus on urban issues like making transportation more efficient, lowering the cost of living, reducing energy use and helping the government become more efficient.

The Mountain View-based Google didn't say how much it is spending on Sidewalk Labs. Company co-founder Larry Page said in a Google + blog post Wednesday that the business, which is very different from the Mountain View, California, company's core, involved a "relatively modest investment." And the blog post also didn't really explain specifically how any of the project will work.

Former Bloomberg LP CEO Dan Doctoroff will run Sidewalk Labs, which will be based in New York. Doctoroff also served as New York's deputy mayor of economic development and rebuilding.

Shares of Google Inc. edged up 40 cents to $553 shortly before markets opened Thursday. The stock has climbed about 4 percent so far this year.

NBC Bay Area's Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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