Uber provides over 1 million rides per day in more than 450 cities around the world, constantly collecting data en route to the destination. Traffic patterns can be filtered by day of the week, time and whether there is an event happening in close proximity. This treasure trove of data is now being offered to city planners and infrastructure policymakers, and will eventually be available to the public.
On Jan. 9, Uber announced the release of Movement, “a website that uses Uber’s data to help urban planners make informed decisions about our cities.”
In a blog post Uber Product Manager Jordan Gilbertson and Andrew Salzberg, Uber's head of transportation policy, explain how better designed infrastructure will benefit everyone. All data has been aggregated and anonymized in order to assure driver and rider privacy.
Uber is looking to partner with planning agencies and researchers to provide access to the data that will essentially offer insights that can aid in infrastructure planning. The company posted that it will soon make the website freely available to the public.
Washington, D.C., is an early Movement partner, something Mayor Muriel Bowser said the city is excited about. "We want to employ as many data sources as possible to mitigate traffic congestion, improve infrastructure, and make our streets safer for every visitor and resident in the nation’s capital.”
Uber has not had the best relations with some city governments. Recently the company was forced to suspend operations of self-driving vehicles from the streets of San Francisco and relocate them to Phoenix. Uber has also gotten into a spat with New York City over passenger pick-up and drop-off locations. This new effort could mend some of those wounded relationships.