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Open Curbs database could make it easier to catch an Uber

Coord's Open Curbs would help cities and companies alike.
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Hero Images via Getty Images

Curb data can be intensely useful to city planners and transportation companies alike, but it's usually fenced off. What if everyone had access to it? They will now. Alphabet spinoff Coord has launched Open Curbs, a public repository for curb info like parking signs, fire hydrants and other vital details. The information could help cities identify safe places for delivery and ride hailing stops, not to mention aid in urban planning as the transportation grid evolves.

The initial data will include info from Coord's own Surveyor augmented reality app, with initial city data for Denver, Los Angeles, Milan, Paris, San Francisco and Santa Monica. The company plans to support other forms of curb data in the future, however. If it takes off, it could quickly become a one-stop shop for anyone who needs to know about curbs when designing a product or the city itself. That could be particularly important for self-driving taxis, which wouldn't have the luxury of a human driver to find a good pickup place.

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