Uber just announced that it will be providing access to the (anonymized) traffic flow data generated from its over 2 billion rides. This new product is called Uber Movement and the goal is to help cities make better infrastructure decisions. Because indirectly, that also benefits them.
Here’s an excerpt from TechCrunch:
“We don’t plan infrastructure, we don’t plan cities, we’re never going to do that,” explained Uber Product Manager Jordan Gilbertson in a briefing. 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.
You can request access to Uber Movement today. But the service will be made available first to city planners and policymakers, and then to the general public. I would be very curious to see what the data reveals for Toronto, as well as for other cities.