Uber announced that it will share rider data with officials and planners who are responsible for urbanization. The ridesharing company was constantly asked by the city officials to share the data, but the company refused to provide the details to protect the privacy of riders. However, to help build an efficient potential city, the company has planned to launch a new website that gives access to the anonymized data from more than two billion trips.
Smarter Ways Forward
The ridesharing company announced that it will launch a new site called Movement in the middle of February 2017. The site will provide real-time information about travel times in different cities across the world. In the initial stage, only the data of three cities will be shown: Manila in the Philippines, Sydney in Australia, and Washington, D.C. in the United States.
By visiting the website, policymakers and planners can conduct various analyses regarding transportation patterns and provide better decisions while investing in infrastructure in the years to come. The insights about historical details will help in deciding the impact of improvements on the road, new transit lines, or major events conducted by city officials. The ridesharing company has informed that it will open the portal to the general public within a few months.
Using this website, users can see insight from different cities. By discovering analysis patterns, users can view road closures, rush hours, and events. Thus, the users can check the website before taking a road trip, get an understanding about a metro shutdown in D.C., and examine traffic trends in the city or even measure the road system in major cities.
Real-Time Demonstration of the Site
The ridesharing company explained the use of the new website that they will be releasing in the middle of February. In the demonstration, they showed, on average, how long trips in San Francisco lasted. The longer travel times were indicated on the map using a deep blue color. However, the ridesharing company was not able to calculate some cities' southeastern sections because of an insufficient number of rides in those places.
The company will include the details of all the cities where they have their ride service so that the information on the website will help planners and policy makers view the impact of traffic in real-time scenarios. This will also give an idea to city officials of projects that work well in the area and issues that have to be addressed readily, like introducing congestion pricing, opening a new transit line, or even closing a road.
In the past, there have been many vendors offering this kind of information and details in urban mobility. However, the information offered by the ridesharing giant will make a greater impact because of the popularity of the network across the globe. The San Francisco-based company has a consistent analysis of city transportation so that the data provided by the website will help in planning the existing infrastructure and even in discussing future investments.
The first point in the terms and conditions of the ridesharing company is the protection of user details. The drivers and riders using the mobile application must provide their personal information like name, address, and even credit card details that cannot be shared with a third party.
The ridesharing giant promises to take care of these details, but the new plan for sharing the ridership gives an insecure feeling to some users. Regarding this issue, the company has stated that their top priority is to preserve the privacy of riders and drivers so that all the information present on the website is anonymized and accumulated in such a way that the user behavior or identifiable details cannot be surfaced by using any technical tools.
The company is iterating the website with the help of the transportation professionals, government experts, and academic organizations across the globe, as well as any organization that wishes to partner with the ridesharing company to get product feedback or information about research opportunities.
The Need for Data Sharing
The sharing of anonymized ridership by the auto-sharing company will help city officials, transportation experts, policy makers, and planners create effective regulations while envisioning transportation access in the future. By using the data from the Movement website, they can change the way in which services are offered by the government and transportation departments, as well as offer a chance to add some new aspects to those resources.
The data sharing information offered by the company will help improve the quality of transportation facilities and allow them to create smarter goals and pave the way for creative and innovative solutions during challenging situations.
Additionally, it is interesting and worth watching how the data shows the movement of the population across different cities and delivers the required service to users. This will also alleviate congestion and help transportation experts and city official organize a better traffic and transportation management system.
Data Sharing Appeases Officials
City authorities and transportation officials have called for more information in the past from the ridesharing company, but Uber refused to provide the ride information as it could jeopardize the privacy of users accessing the mobile application. However, the cities are in need of data sharing so that they can maintain and manage congested roads.
While the website will not be comprehensive because the company feels that their service is not fully fledged in some of the routes to give the exact information regarding typical travel times, Uber is confident with its tools and services as they will be the dominant tools used by planners to design city routes. Currently, all the details regarding the city plans are from various vendors. The ridesharing company is in the process of offering the data on the maps that cover almost all of the major cities where it operates the ride service. Additionally, it uses a GPS tracking system that provides the data with unique insights about the operations happening in the streets of each city.
Since the service is available in 545 cities, the trips can be analyzed and city planners can determine how long it takes to travel from one area to another. As the service operates 24/7, it is easy to compare travel scenarios in different locations in terms of days, weeks, months, and years.