Personal on-demand taxi giant, Uber are stepping into brand new territory with their new venture – Movement.
By tapping into their 24/7 access to a massive network of inter-connected drivers, Uber are using the data fed back from their cars to create a map of the operating city’s congestion and traffic trends and habits – which city planners are constantly in need of for assessing the plans for major operations.
By accessing the routes, journey times and peak travel hours of any city where Uber is currently available, Movement is touted to be able to develop trend-building data of definable city districts in accordance with city planning.
Uber are selling Movement as a valuable asset for urban planners of major cities. Highlighting the 24 hour access of the taxi service as an asset, Movement will also allow city officials to accurately define how big decisions such as road closures and building works will impact travel at all times of the day; allowing them to plan the best time for works to go ahead or how to better invest in future infrastructure.
In a blog post announcing the service posted by Product Manager Jordan Gilbertson and Uber’s Head of Transportation Policy, Andrew Salzberg, the pair explain the future for the initiative; “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.”
Initially, Movement will be accessible to planning agencies and researchers, but there is a definite view to allow the data to be accessible to the general public.
However, not everyone is entirely excited with Movement’s capabilities. Scott Kubly, Vice President of The US National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) argued that what Movement was looking to provide is insufficient for the needs of city officials; “It’s great that Uber is recognising their impact on transportation congestion in cities and trying to provide information … However, what they’re offering is not consistent with what cities require, nor is it in line with national best practices.”
People are currently able to request access to data for research purposes by contacting Uber at email@example.com.
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