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Portland launches Sidewalk Labs’ Replica software

Portland trials Replica software from Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs

Sidewalk Labs, the urban innovation firm and Alphabet subsidiary, has introduced its Replica software to the streets of Portland, Oregon.

The location tracking software is being piloted in the city after months of preparation, GeekWire reported.

The pilot will take place over a year, and is set to cost almost US$500,000.

Through the project, the city will gain access to a dataset that showcases how the Portland’s citizens move around.


The areas of transportation the software will target include commuting, the impact Uber and Lyft on traffic, and cyclists.

Replica uses deidentified mobile location data to track movement around the city – opposed to surveillance cameras or sensors – with the data sourced from mobile app publishers, mobile location data aggregators, and telcos. 

Portland’s Metro, TriMet, and the Bureau of Transportation are all funding the smart city pilot.

“We’ll be looking to Replica to explore a number of questions about major issues in our region like equity, safety, and congestion,” commented Eliot Rose, Technology Strategist at Metro.