Uber Movement: Lets Find Smarter Ways Forward

Uber is Discovering patterns and analyzing the impact of rush hours, events, and road closures in cities worldwide.


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Uber Technologies Inc. is a renowned American worldwide online transportation network company. Its headquarter is in San Francisco, California, United States. I guess it the that global service about which everyone knows. Like Uber Technologies Inc. has made itself that much popular with its efficiency and reliable services that it has no need to introduce itself to others now.

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Uber Movement

Making our cities move more efficiently matters to us all. That’s why Uber is providing access to anonymized data from over 2 billion trips to help improve urban planning around the world. For this purpose, Uber is opening up in an area where it might make sense competitively for it to stay more closed off: the ride-hailing company Uber has unveiled a new website Uber Movement which provides access to data from over 2 billion trips to help improve urban planning around the world. Detailed historical insights make it possible to measure the impact of road improvements, major events, new transit lines, and more. Conducting complex analysis on transportation patterns allows for better decision making around future infrastructure investments. Uber Technologies Inc. believes that breakthrough insights and ideas can come from anywhere. In the coming months, they will be making this data open to all.

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All around the world, Uber Technologies Inc. is operating with more than 450 cities. Uber has a lot of insight on how the traffic mobility functions in these cities and eventually it decided to put the data to an effectual use by capitalizing in new infrastructure.

Basic Idea

The basic idea is that Uber has a lot of insight into how traffic works within a city, and it can anonymize this data so that it isn’t tied to specific individuals in most cases. So where that’s possible, Uber Technologies Inc. is going to begin sharing said data, first to specific organizations who apply for early access, and then eventually to the general public. Uber says it was looking at all the data it gathered and began to realize that it could be used for public benefit, and assembled a product team to make this happen. The result of this effort was Movement, which aims to address problems city officials and urban planners encounter when they’re forced to make key, transformational infrastructure decisions without access to all of, or the proper information about actual conditions and causes.

Have a look on the Movement’s Video

Essentially, according to Uber, it’s hoping to make it easier for those with influence over a city’s transportation picture to make the right decision, and to be able to explain why, where and when the changes are happening with accurate data backing them up. It also wants to do this in a way that makes it easy for organizations to work with, so it’s releasing the data organized around traffic analysis zones within cities, which are agreed-upon geographic demarcations that help with existing urban planning and traffic management.

Users of the website

Users of this website can adjust things like time of day, day of week and zones to call up Uber’s data for that specific point or range, and can download the data, both with existing time series charts and in raw format for inputting into their own models. Uber says it’s looking at also releasing access to the data as an API, but is “trying to figure out how to do it in a performant way” at this stage.

Also Read: Uber Meal Delivery Service: “Uber Meal On Wheels”

What Uber’s Partners Say?

One of the Uber’s early partners – Muriel Bowser, Mayor, Washington DC, says

“Smart technology and intelligent use of data are critical to the success of the nation’s cities, and the District of Columbia is committed to using these tools to keep pace with the rapid growth of our neighborhoods. We’re excited to be one of the early partners with Uber on this new platform. 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.”

Also Read: Uber Launches Rickshaw Service In Pakistan

Another Uber’s early partner – Michael Comninos, Executive Director, Greater Sydney Commission, says

“The travel time data Uber has made available provides a tangible and unique measure of how our cities move at different times of the day, and gives us insights into how the road network is performing. Uber’s new public travel time tool, Movement, will be accessible through our Greater Sydney Dashboard and will play a valuable role in helping city, infrastructure and transport planners better understand how Sydney’s moves at any one time of the day.”

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Another Says

“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 the 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.”

Uber Product Manager Jordan Gilbertson in a briefing explained

“We don’t plan infrastructure, we don’t plan cities, we’re never going to do that”

Uber Privacy

Uber claims to take users’ privacy very seriously. Of course, Uber releasing this kind of data publicly is going to raise some eyebrows from privacy advocates, but the company stresses that it’s ensuring user privacy by only offering up data where it can be successfully aggregated and anonymized. For parts of a city where it determines there isn’t enough data to properly protect driver and passenger identities, it simply won’t return results for queries, Uber says.

Also Read: Uber Asks Drivers To Take Selfies During Shift As a Security Measure

Another question is why Uber would bother at all, given that its ability to accurately map traffic demand is part of the reason it’s able to do demand prediction well at all, which is a core competitive advantage for it in the ride-sharing business. Uber Technologies Inc. says it wants to do some good in the cities where it operates, for one, but it also stands to benefit from infrastructure improvements in cities.

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Not controlling those aspects of Uber’s business means that it must do whatever possible to influence their improvement indirectly, which Movement can certainly help to do. More efficient transportation in a city in general means more efficient Uber service delivery, happier customers and better usage rates. This could also help engender closer relationships between Uber and the municipal governments in cities where it operates, which will be helpful as its business matures. But primarily it looks like big picture thinking about how to control the variables in its model that currently exist outside its control – and that’s potentially going to be good for everyone on the road in urban areas. Uber took a step to spread its operations in Pakistan in 2016 and meanwhile it is providing services to Pakistan’s two big cities which are Lahore and Karachi. Uber, in the upcoming weeks, will be giving invitations to planning companies and researchers to access the data and see and explore the further sights of information.

To Read More: PTA, HEC, & PKNOG Conducting Workshops On Network Technologies And Security

 


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Ramsha Khan

Ramsha is a freelance writer, lives in Lahore, Pakistan.

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