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After it was abruptly shooed out of London last week, Uber wants to show the world that it’s more than just a disruptive on-demand transport company.
The firm today launched Uber Movement, a platform that collates the company’s wealth of trip data to benefit urban planners and city leaders.
“Uber Movement shows data from the billions of trips that riders have taken with Uber, aggregated into zones covering the standard boundaries used by urban planners, for example Census Tracts and Traffic Analysis Zones (TAZs),” the company explains in a press release.
“This will enable them to more effectively evaluate where investments in transportation infrastructure should be made in their cities.”
The platform will also allow visitors to discover patterns in travel times, the effect events have on the transportation network, and road closures.
Uber Movement puts the company’s swathe of trip data to good use for urban planners
Uber has also signed an agreement with the CSIR, alowing South Africa’s Council for Scientific Research to share information with Uber Movement.
“Transport planning is a data intensive undertaking, and the required datasets tend to be expensive to collect and process,” explains Dr. Mathetha Mokonyama, the transport systems and operations leader at the CSIR.
“Having a platform, that serves as a full-day transport network sensor would certainly help with the monitoring of some of the pertinent network indicators.”
While Uber will be collecting data from trips taken by you and your loved ones, data will be devoid of personal identification info.
The service will also aim to benefit other road users. The firm hopes that Uber Movement will be used to “automatically” detect potholes in the future.
Uber Movement is currently only live in Gauteng’s three metropoles: Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane.
There’s no word on when Movement will be available in Cape Town — the most congested city in the country — or South Africa’s other major cities, Durban and Port Elizabeth.
“Uber Movement is the next step to connecting further with our cities and having the opportunity to recognise its great transportation needs,” Yolisa Kani, Uber South Africa’s head of public policy concludes.