Finnish researchers have devised an algorithm that accurately determines mobile phone users’ modes of transportation by analyzing data from their phones’ accelerometers. Useful? Absolutely! Annoying? Possibly …
Car service startup Uber has produced some graphics showing the effect of the government shutdown on its ridership in the Washington, D.C., area. Certain routes, like between downtown and Capitol Hill, have shown a reduction that the company calls “significant.”
There’s evidence to suggest that traffic congestion is a side effect of strong city economies, a claim furthered by recent traffic-data analysis from INRIX. However, a decreased reliance on cars might mean clearer roads are more the result of alternative transit than of slow economic growth.
A group of researchers from an Israeli university used data from Waze to determine the country’s most-accident-prone areas and how they correlate, or not, with a notable police presence. It’s just one of many efforts using ballooning data from drivers and devices to try and make sense of city traffic.
Companies such as Inrix are making their money helping commuters and commercial drivers find the fastest routes through traffic, but their reach could go much further. Creative organizations can apply the data in entirely new areas, and crowdsourcing means seeing how the world moves.