Uber offers to share data with city authorities

Taxi-bothering service Uber is introducing Movement, a website that uses Uber’s data to help urban planners make informed decisions about our cities.

Uber points out that its trips occur all over cities, so by analysing a lot of trips over time it can reliably estimate how long it takes to get from one area to another. Since Uber is available 24/7, travel conditions can be compared 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.

This data is anonymised and aggregated into the same types of geographic zones that transport planners use to evaluate which parts of cities need expanded infrastructure.

Uber adds that, in the weeks ahead, it’ll be inviting planning agencies and researchers to access its data and explore zone-to-zone travel times, and it will soon make the website freely available to the public.

A statement from the company added that city planners face myriad challenges, and it hopes to help tackle more of them over time.

“We’re excited to partner with city officials, urban planners and research organisations to continue building features that today’s transportation planners need. While it’s early days for this product, we’re committed to serving cities from Manila to Melbourne to Washington, DC,” a statement said.

“Over the past six and a half years, we’ve learned a lot about the future of urban mobility— and what it means for cities and the people who live in them. We’ve seen how more access to transportation and the use of private cars for public good can change both where and how we live for the better. We hope Uber Movement can play a role in helping our cities grow in a way that works for everyone.”

Photo courtesy Uber

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