Briefing

Sidewalk Labs launches AI platform to reduce energy use

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The system, called Mesa, uses real-time data and automation to control how commercial buildings use energy—for example, turning off power outlets and adjusting heating and cooling systems based on “thermal dynamics, tenant feedback, and occupancy levels.” Sidewalk said Mesa can help buildings cut their electricity costs by 20 per cent. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Mesa is the third product in the Alphabet subsidiary’s portfolio, which focuses on innovation and sustainability in city building. Separately, Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners, an investment fund that spun out of Sidewalk, launched Canvue in Michigan this August, a subsidiary that develops roads for connected and autonomous cars. The projects are examples of what the Google sister company might have introduced or piloted in Toronto, had it moved forward with plans to build a smart city in the Quayside neighbourhood. Sidewalk’s proposed development for the city was mired in concerns around data privacy, which is a consideration for the firm’s Mesa product, too. The company said it protects privacy by not using cameras, limiting the occupancy data it collects, and said Mesa is not capable of identifying individuals.