Sidewalk Labs' new platform feeds real-time transit data to navigation apps
- Sidewalk Labs announced the launch of Coord, a cloud-based integration platform, that aims to serve as a "coordination layer" between mobility services, navigation tools and urban infrastructure.
- Coord will enable software developers who are creating digital navigation tools "to integrate real-time information about new modes of transportation and to facilitate transactions" using Coord's standardized APIs, according to a Medium post. Coord CEO Stephen Smyth told Wired the platform will not operate as a mobility service, but instead as the "connective tissue" to share mobility data and assist app developers.
- Coord will focus on a number of integrations including curbside assets, bike-share and tolling data. "We believe Coord can become the central nervous system for a next-generation transportation system anchored around choice, not around car-ownership," the Medium post reads.
While there are a number of consumer-facing all-in-one mobility apps, such as Transit, to improve efficiency of personal transportation, Coord will instead act as an "operating system" for other platforms. For example, a ride-sharing service could plug into Coord's data stream and project to its users information on tolls or traffic, allowing users to see a transparent time and cost estimate for their trip.
One of Coord's most unique offerings is a detailed look at the curbside, which is becoming a high-demand commodity in cities across the U.S. Through a tool called Surveyor, Coord can "digitize" a city's curb and offer data on parking meters and various designations, or differentiate a parking space from a loading zone or a ride-share drop-off zone. Curbs in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle have already been digitized, according to Wired.
Folding bike-share data into the platform will also be an important advancement for Coord, especially as dockless bike-share services take off in the country's largest metro areas. Ride-share collaboration with bike-share will likely be an emerging trend that Coord can help to streamline — just this week, Uber announced a pilot with Jump Bike in San Francisco that will enable riders to find and book a Jump bike through the Uber app.
Coord's focus on decreasing car ownership is another trend being driven by shared-mobility giants across the industry. Fifteen mobility companies this week signed a pledge to "prioritize people over vehicles" and promote the development of shared fleets and services, while denouncing the value of personal car ownership. Assuming this trend maintains momentum from both the private and public sectors, Coord could eventually become a crucial tool in optimizing these shared services.
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