Who are we?
Sidewalk Labs is an Alphabet company tackling the challenges of urban growth. In partnership with Waterfront Toronto and the local community, we are currently designing a district in Toronto's Eastern Waterfront. This joint venture, called Sidewalk Toronto, will blend people-centered urban design with cutting-edge technology to achieve new standards of sustainability, affordability, mobility, and economic opportunity.
Sidewalk Labs believes that convenient, reliable, and affordable mobility is one of the most important challenges in urban life. The future we envision will complement walking, cycling, and transit options by leveraging new technologies including shared self-driving vehicles, automated freight systems, dynamic approaches to road pricing, lane and curb management, and novel street or intersection designs. We are interested in new approaches to consumer services, including Mobility as a Service, as well as integrating existing, extended, or new public transit options and incorporating new regulatory approaches to mobility.
The Director of Mobility will be responsible for the development and execution of our mobility strategy and roadmap. This will include the ability to build on, adjust, or add to our thinking as warranted, based on the ways technology is changing what is possible in urban mobility, as well as the possibilities and constraints we learn about as we progress.
Each roadmap will have multiple components which we will source through:
- product development when an innovation is critical to our vision and the market is unlikely to offer alternatives;
- investments or partnerships where the market has developed a strong foundation, but is not evolving fast enough or requires risk capital to prove the viability of new innovations;
- procurement where sourcing existing products, services or solutions is sufficient.
In developing and refining the roadmap, the Director of Mobility will lead an internal cross-functional team which will include representatives from our Development team (which has responsibility for partnerships with real places); our Investments team (which has responsibility for originating, diligencing, and negotiating investments, partnerships and contracts with external parties); our Product team (which will develop Sidewalk-led components); our mobility-related portfolio companies; and external partners, as required.
The Director will report to our Head of Urban Systems. They will be leveraging resources across the company, and the bulk of the work for the first year is expected to be done through collaborative work with other members of Sidewalk Labs and our local partners, as well as consultant support.
What you need to be successful?
- Vision and expertise on urban mobility. You are recognized by others in the field as a leading thinker, doer, and peer. You know how transportation systems work (passenger and freight, automobile and transit, pedestrian and bike, public and private) and understand transportation economics, politics, and infrastructure. Critically, you also understand the potential for change and how that might occur.
- Urban values. You understand that urban mobility exists to make urban life better for all people who live in cities. You understand that streets are shared spaces and are for more than just vehicles, and more than just mobility. You understand that cities have been wrestling with mobility challenges for centuries, but you are also eager to see change when it means improvement.
- Technical expertise. You have demonstrated expertise in the technical aspects of new approaches to urban mobility, especially autonomous vehicles, including current product roadmaps and limitations.
- Product and business acumen. While you may not have been in a product-development or business role in the past, you are fluent in the financial and business models of most leading and emerging private-sector mobility companies and have worked across the industry to deliver new mobility products. You understand how key business and financial principles drive and constrain innovation and partnerships in mobility systems.
- Track record of execution and impact. You have implemented products, partnerships, or policies that had impactful change in the world of urban transportation. You know how hard it is, how many compromises and priorities must be made, how many stakeholders are involved, and the way that the realities of transportation and urban environments intrude on great plans.
- Strong collaborator. You have managed complex projects with many internal and external stakeholders and have supported senior leaders. You’re able to think through, communicate, and develop next steps for your team and the organization.
Deliverables / What success looks like:
In your first weeks, you will focus on getting up to speed: meeting the relevant members of our team, reviewing our thinking thus far (especially with regards to mobility), and understanding both existing initiatives, and the roadmap going forward.
After 3 months:
- Developed and articulated a unique perspective on the overall urban mobility space, building on work done by the company to date.
- Understood, refined, and taken ownership of our urban mobility strategy. This includes delineating what Sidewalk Labs is likely to procure or partner, and what it is likely to want to build.
- Proposed at least one new initiative that Sidewalk Labs has not yet explored. To do this, you have absorbed the relevant information, framed it into a compelling problem statement, and gained the support of the mobility working group.
- Coordinated Sidewalk Labs’ partnerships with public entities related to mobility.
After 6 months:
- Completed sourcing analysis for all components of a mobility system as envisioned in the strategy: identified high-level needs, met and tracked potential suppliers and partners, and developed specific implementation strategies for each component of the system.
- Overseen exploration of at least two new initiatives that are incorporated into the mobility roadmap.
- Developed a distinctive SWL mobility perspective that is articulated through writings, speaking engagements, and meetings with influencers and partners.
After 12 months:
- Completed a comprehensive, tested mobility strategy that can guide our activities over the coming years.
- Completed at least one exploration or initiative, resulting in either next-stage development, establishment of an entity or incorporation of learnings into our strategy for mobility.
Over the coming years, you should become recognized as a global thought leader on the future of urban mobility.
We are very excited to hear from you.