Uber has announced a new feature on its Movement platform, known as Speeds, the new feature is a free data set which the ride-hailing company has said it hopes will assist city planners to understand how people move and help them address pressing urban transportation challenges.

Among the 5 cities worldwide for which Speeds data has been made available is Nairobi.

"Today, we’re excited to launch Speeds—a free data set within Uber Movement that’s available to the public—across 5 cities: New York, Seattle, Cincinnati, Nairobi, and London. Although each of these cities is unique, they all face complex urban transportation challenges, including congestion, road safety, infrastructure planning, and pollution. We’re excited to provide data and tools that can empower planners to understand how people move and help them address pressing urban transportation challenges."

City planning using transport data

According to Uber, Speeds provides historical aggregated speed data along street segments for select metropolitan areas. Apart from city planning, there are several use cases one can think of where such data could be useful and it is perhaps for this reason that Uber states that it is willing to partner with the relevant organisations on their projects or even happy to schedule demos for interested organizations.

When they initially announced the public availability of Uber Movement in 2017, the recently listed company did mention that the tool is aimed at making planning cities better.

"At the start, you'll see the user zooming in to a street-level view of average speeds over the default time range. As you move the mouse around and hover over street segments, you will see information about those segments including street name, average speed, and the percentage from free-flow speed (free-flow speed is estimated as 85th percentile of all speed values observed on a segment over the earliest quarter into which your selected date-time range falls). Let's get started!"

Cover image credit: Rush hour traffic in downtown Nairobi. Mike/Flickr Share this via: