Ride-hailing app company Uber introduced a traffic tool called Movement, which employs anonymised trip data to help urban planners and local leaders find ways to reduce commute times and guide them on how best to invest in new infrastructure.
Uber launched initiatives in Manila, four cities in Australia (Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane) and Washington DC, and plans to expand to dozens of cities by next month.
It is working with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA). The latter used Uber data to produce Australia’s first regular measurement of road network performance – the IPA Transport Metric – to enable governments and the communities to monitor the impact of planning and infrastructure decisions on real journey times.
Uber said in statement analysing its trips over time allows it to estimate how long it takes to get from one area to another. “Since Uber is available 24/7, we can compare travel conditions across different times of day, days of the week, or months of the year – and how travel times are impacted by big events, road closures or other things happening in a city.”
Uber data scientists aggregate data into the same types of geographic zones transportation planners use to evaluate which parts of cities need expanded infrastructure.
The company said it plans to invite planning agencies and researchers to access its data and explore zone-to-zone travel times, and will soon make the website freely available to the public.
Some Uber rivals, such as Grab, Le Taxi and Easy Taxi, have made some information about their drivers public as part of the Open Transport Partnership, which is supported by the World Opening, Bloomberg reported.
However, Uber Movement won’t share data on individual trips, drivers or passengers.