Uber has aggregated over six years of trip data into a new website called Movement, which analyzes travel times and traffic across cities the ride-sharing company has been operating in. The data not only offers a fascinating insight into travel duration times compiled from millions of independent trips, but also offers the ability to examine traffic flow changes over different periods of time.
Uber initially envisions the information will be of use to city officials and urban planners, enabling districts a better understanding of where and how improvements to road networks can be made.
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The initial launch website is only accessible to specifically approved parties, such as city officials and planners, but Uber intends to open access to the general public within the next couple of months. Four cities are currently integrated into the system, Washington, Boston, Manila and Sydney, but the company plans to add many more.
Movement works by breaking up individual Uber trips into pieces, anonymously logging the time it takes to travel throughout various parts of a city. Uber's head of transportation, Andrew Salzberg, explained that the company has been developing Movement for nine months with a view to finding a balance between sharing the valuable data the company is accumulating and maintaining privacy for its customers.
"The goal with this is how do we make data available for obvious public interest and public purpose while maintaining privacy controls on individual riders and individual drivers and trips," Salzberg told Business Insider.
For several years, Uber has been battling with different cities over everything from how much data it gives local government officials, to whether its presence is even legal, so the release of Movement feels like a significant strategic shift and olive branch from this big disruptive presence in urban transport.
Take a closer look at Uber's Movement in the video below.