Sidewalks Labs, a unit of Google parent-company Alphabet, is teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation to build a data and analytics platform that promises to help cities understand where people go and how they get there.
The goal is to help better design transportation infrastructure to suit a city’s needs.
The platform, called Flow, will rely on one of Alphabet’s core strengths: collecting, analyzing and visualizing vast amounts of data.
The system will help cities identify congestion and areas that are underserved by public transportation, enabling planners to come up with a better citywide plan that uses current and new forms of transportation, such as ride-sharing, Sidewalk says. That’s getting more important as commute times and distances grow longer.