Sunday, May 24, 2020

Uber's Mobility Heat Maps and their Relevance in the Pandemic

Uber's Mobility Heat Maps Give Insight Into Micro Mobility Trends In Cities

Uber is a platform that connects riders and drivers to coordinate rides, similar to a taxi cab company. Unlike a taxi company, however, Uber allows you to use your smartphone when you need a ride and determines the price of each ride. Uber has launched new mobility heat maps which accumulates micro-mobility trends, including bike and scooter travel patterns across cities. It is currently available in eight cities; Brussels, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Paris, Rome, San Francisco and Washington D.C. This tool is the latest addition to the Uber Movement datasets which makes aggregated and anonymized mobility data free and publicly available. This data is available by the time of day and for weekdays or weekends. 


Uber's Mobility Heat Maps Give Insight Into Micro Mobility Trends In Cities

There is a lot of interest in mobility research as countries struggle to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to monitoring people's movement in locations, authorities can also use this data at this time of reduced movement to implement “quick-build projects” such as adding new mobility lanes in the coming months.

Additionally, for more data and visualization offerings from Uber, one can always check out uber movement.  While in the past years we have seen the rise of mobility as a service (MaaS), the COVID-19 pandemic has served as an opportunity for the MaaS ecosystem to solidify and demonstrate its value.  In the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, getting into a crowded bus or train with other passengers is no longer a recommended option. Even a taxi or ride-hailing service with a driver could be fraught with risks. In such a situation, biking has emerged as a preferred mode of transportation for people who have to go to work.

Also Uber claims that all data is anonymized and aggregated to ensure no personally identifiable information or user-behaviour can be surfaced through the Movement too.

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