Uber has launched a new website that will give you a peek into the pool of traffic data that allows the ride-hailing service to get you at your destination in time. Called ‘Movement’, the website offers users access to Uber’s data around traffic flow in number of places where it operates. This is aimed at allowing users to plan their travel in a more seamless manner and aid in improving urban mobility.
Uber Movement has been developed in collaboration with urban planners, civic communities and local leaders to help provide statistics on how the traffic is moving at a given time in a day, month, or year. The idea behind opening up its data to city officials is to help them improve traffic conditions and commutes. The data is based on the countless rides taken by Uber riders across cities and time. Uber says that based on the number of trips taken all over cities, it can estimate how long it would take one to get from one area to another, and this helps in generating historical data over time.
The service has invited researchers and city agencies to access its data and explore travel times and traffic conditions to understand how travel times are impacted by rush hours, big events, road closures, and other things happening in a particular city. As of now the website is available for early access to city officials and large organizations with a projected access to the general public.
Now, this leads to questions about user privacy along with city/state security. The traffic data is based on the innumerable rides taken by people residing in 450 cities where the service operates. This also includes their personalized ride timings and bookmarked locations, which in terms of big data might mean a little segment but for an individual it is unnerving to have the data out there for public consumption. However, Uber explains that the data is “anonymized and aggregated into the same types of geographic zones that transportation planners use to evaluate which parts of cities need expanded infrastructure.”
Users of the website can select the time, day, and zone to see how the traffic status has been over the specified period. For locations where there isn’t enough data, the site won’t return any results for queries. So for example, if you need to check the travel time taken between point A and B, you could scale down the queries to morning commute or evening commute complete with the days of the week. The results shown will tell you exactly how much of an average time it takes between the two locations and when exactly in a given week was the travel time at the lowest. ALSO READ: UberGO fares increased by up to 15% in Delhi-NCR
The access will be provided initially to city planners and researchers to help build a better infrastructure and gradually the data will be rolled out to the general public so that they could also partake in analyzing how their city moves in a given time period.