Much information has been availed from Alphabet’s Sidewalks Labs on the technology it tends to use to develop a futuristic smart city in Toronto, which includes self-driving garbage cans and infra-red sensors to trail foot traffic in stores, a document released by the company on Friday said.
Alphabet, parent Google, released a 483-page document in response to criticism from the arm of a government-mandated body developing the project that called the initial proposal “Frustratingly abstract”.
Waterfront Toronto, the organization in charge of growing the waterfront area of Canada’s biggest city, give a provisional approval to the project two weeks ago after Sidewalks decided to walk reverse many of its original proposals, including putting all data collected into an Urban Data Trust, which critics said would not be subject to adequate oversight.
The 12-acre plan, close to Toronto’s business district, will launch flexible street design and reactive sounds to help blind people find their path around, the document showed.
Sidewalk said the mainstream of the services it is proposing has already been partially or fully implemented in an existing project in various cities around the world.
Sidewalks said the objective of this list is to “not only describe the ‘What’ and the ‘Why’, but also the ‘how’ and ‘Who’ for each service.”
Sidewalks has said it will not sell data collected to third parties, or use it for advertising purposes. It will also not divide delicate information – one of four categories of data it defines- with third parties, including other Alphabet-owned companies, without explicit consent.
It will not utilize facial recognition, and 60% of services will not generate personal information. Waterfront Toronto cautioned that it is still interpretation through Sidewalk’s document but said it was pleased to receive further details.
Working with Sidewalk labs to attain a repositioning on main digital issues, we are keen to see how these consultations have been reflected, “Kristina Verner, Waterfront’s vice president of innovation, sustainability, and affluence, said in an emailed statement”
The project will now go through a formal evaluation and further public consultation before a final vote on Mar 31, 2020, by Waterfront Toronto.