Uber is Publicly Releasing Anonymized and Aggregated Ride and Traffic Data
Note: The data discussed below is not yet publicly available . Uber says that they will “gradually” rollout the data to everyone in “the weeks ahead.” The data will be available under the Creative Commons, Attribution Non-Commercial license.
Uber is known as a secretive company that isn’t keen on divulging its data. It’s had public spats with lawmakers in New York and Seattle to ensure data on its rides isn’t released to the public.
But now the ride-hailing company appears to be changing course.
Uber announced Sunday that it’s planning to share the ride and traffic data it’s collected from billions of rides. The company is releasing the data to “help urban planners make informed decisions about our cities,” it wrote in a blog post.
While handing a trove of ride data to cities would likely be helpful to urban planners, it could also aid Uber’s aims to enter more cities and thus gain more passengers. The company still isn’t in South Dakota, Wyoming or upstate New York. By showing its data to regulators, Uber could demonstrate that ride-hailing might help traffic and mobility.
From the Uber Blog Post:
This data is anonymized and aggregated into the same types of geographic zones that transportation planners use to evaluate which parts of cities need expanded infrastructure, like Census Tracts and Traffic Analysis Zones (TAZs). In the weeks ahead, we’ll be inviting planning agencies and researchers to access our data and explore zone-to-zone travel times, and will soon make the website freely available to the public.
While it’s early days for this product, we’re committed to serving cities from Manila to Melbourne to Washington, DC.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.