Every minute of every day, riders and drivers on the Uber platform can tap a button and get a ride or get work. That’s why we’re so committed to understanding how cities work. And that’s why we launched Movement in 2017. This website that uses Uber’s data to help urban planners make informed decisions about the cities we serve has sparked conversations with transportation experts around the world. A theme throughout those discussions has been the need for reliable and easily-accessible road speed data. With 15 million trips a day across more than seven hundred cities, we are uniquely positioned to help solve this challenge.
That’s why we’re launching Uber Movement Speeds today in five cities: New York City, Seattle, Cincinnati, Nairobi and London. This is a meaningful step forward in fulfilling our vision of becoming a trusted partner to cities and helping them solve complicated urban mobility challenges.
We’re also deepening our commitment to open standards by making Movement Speeds directly compatible with SharedStreets’ referencing system. This non-profit digital commons for the street serves as a launching pad for powerful public-private partnerships. Together, we’re opening up new ways to understand and develop creative solutions for our streets.
About the data
Since launching Movement, we’ve consistently heard a request for more granularity and interoperability in our data. Our speeds product is just that, providing more specificity at the street segment and hourly level. It adds a valuable dataset to the public domain, giving transportation planners a historical view into the functioning of the overall transportation network.
Mark Policinski, CEO of The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) said of Uber Movement Speeds, “The key to solving this nation’s immense transportation challenge is cooperation, and Uber has been a champion partner for OKI.”
Speeds data of this kind has traditionally has been expensive to obtain and lacked comprehensive coverage of secondary roads. In contrast, our product is free, available for download, and offers rich coverage for all types of urban roadways. This means that urban planners can have access to best-in-class historical speed data to validate their work.
As with our original Travel Times product, Movement Speeds is built with rider privacy in mind from the start. All data is aggregated and individual rider or driver data never disclosed. You can learn more about our approach in our FAQs and methodology white paper.
Putting Movement Speeds to use
Speeds data helps planners and city officials evaluate the impact of infrastructure investments, understand where throughout the city congestion is occurring and analyze the street network. This is a very practical application to use speeds data and other public datasets to help planners prioritize the implementation of potential road calming measures. However, speeds data can be a powerful planning dataset beyond cars. For example, the image below visualizes how speeds data and pedestrian cyclist data can be linked using SharedStreets. This can help planners better understand where cyclists are most at risk and prioritize and plan for more protected bike lanes.
SharedStreets references allow a city to bring this critical data into their workflow and work with it on their terms. Cities produce and maintain many datasets that are valuable on their own, like mapped collisions, curb inventories or bicycle infrastructure. Using SharedStreets you’re able to combine them seamlessly with Uber Movement speeds, the picture of the street comes into full focus. For example, isolating high bicycle injury corridors with high 85th percentile speeds might inform where a city invests in protected bicycle or traffic calming infrastructure.
We have already seen innovation occurring with speeds data throughout our beta testing.
Dr. Jane Macfarlane, Executive Director Smart Cities Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California Berkeley’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory said is using this data to validate her urban simulation modeling. She said, “With Uber travel time and speed data, we’ve had the invaluable opportunity to capture the real-world dynamics, which informs our computational models and validates our findings. Our long term vision is to provide next-generation transportation planning and control capabilities for optimizing the movement of goods and people and improving the quality of life in our cities.” At Uber, we are excited to be a part of this innovation and to see what happens as we grow the number of cities and stakeholders involved.
Uber Movement is just getting started and we’re proud to be expanding our offering today with Speeds, and deepening our partnership with SharedStreets. Download the data, learn more about SharedStreets and review our city case studies on our website, movement.uber.com
Have questions or interesting research ideas? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.