Uber rolls out ‘Movement’ in New Delhi sharing data-driven insights on traffic patterns

Movement to help Centre and Delhi urban planners take informed decisions on infrastructure, urban mobility and traffic management.

From L-R: Prabhjeet Singh, Regional General Manager, Uber India & South Asia; Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs; Madhu Kannan, Chief Business Officer – India and Emerging Markets, Uber; Ann Lavin, Senior Director, Public Policy and Government Relations, Asia Pacific, Uber

Uber today announced insights from its proprietary platform, Movement, as part of the country’s single largest comprehensive data-sharing exercise on traffic patterns to improve urban mobility in the cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

Movement offers anonymized, aggregated Uber data to show travel conditions across different times, days or months, and how travel times are impacted by things like big events and road closures in a city. Movement can help urban planners, local leaders, and civic communities make informed decisions. Inaugurating the Delhi leg of this multi-city initiative, insights from Delhi specific traffic problems were showcased in the presence of Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

One of these studies titled, “Examining the Impact of Traffic as Delhi Shops on Dhanteras”, uses data to calculate the impact of Dhanteras on travel times in New Delhi and hint at potential solutions. The data compares peak travel times from Vasant Kunj to Lajpat Nagar during Dhanteras (October 17, 2017) and the average peak travel time in the same week (October 16 - October 20, 2017). The study points to a ~30 per cent increase in travel times between Ambedkar Nagar and Moolchand and over ~20 per cent hike in travel time throughout the city. A consistent pattern in inbound traffic towards the city center is also observed.

Interestingly, the study observes only a ~10 per cent increase in traffic at other time periods (AM Peak, Midday & Evening), and hints at potential solutions to incentivize commuters to travel outside the PM peak on this day to smoothen overall travel times. By mining data for similar festivals, such learnings can be applied to reduce the impact of traffic disruptions. Another notable study measures the impact of dismantling the BRT corridor on travel times. The data reveals a ~31 per cent decrease in northbound travel times on the Ambedkar Nagar-Moolchand stretch once the corridor was dismantled around June 17, 2016. (specific to before and after time-periods of the study)

Speaking at the launch of the case studies, Puri said, “Under the PM Modi led Government, it is for the first time that India has embraced urbanization as a win-win solution for the country’s development. Post May 2014, India is witnessing the world’s largest planned urbanization programme as a response to the unprecedented pace of urbanization in the country. A smarter transport and traffic management system is a significant element of this planned urbanization. The 9 Integrated Command and Control Centers launched so far, in various Smart Cities, are state-of-the-art facilities that relay real time data-sets on a range of urban indicators, including transport and traffic systems. By providing data of Uber rides to the public at large, Uber Movement is supporting a data-led approach to urban planning. I congratulate the Uber team for a successful launch of the Movement platform." 

Ann Lavin, Senior Director, Public Policy and Government Relations, Asia Pacific, Uber explained, “The issue of congestion is becoming alarming across most cities in India. Thanks to sustained efforts by our mapping team, we have been able to gather large amounts of traffic data for several key metros in India. Uber MOVEMENT can help driver data-driven policy making and provide the much needed impetus to academia, urban planners, civic authorities and Government officials. Together with the Government, we aim to continue playing a key role in solving for urban mobility challenges through this initiative.”

With launch of MOVEMENT- a free tool which uses Uber’s anonymised data from millions of trips, across Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad & Bengaluru, Uber has provided access to civic authorities, local governments, transportation researchers, technology and urban infrastructure think tanks to discover ways to apply data to address transportation and infrastructure challenges as well as plan future investments.

According to an April 2018 study by consulting firm, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) titled, “Unlocking Cities: The impact of ridesharing across India”, traffic congestion during peak hours in four major cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata — costs the economy a whopping $22 billion annually. Further, on average, travellers in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Kolkata spend 1.5 hours more on their daily commutes than their counterparts in other Asian cities during peak traffic times. In fact, peak-hour congestion, which implies the additional time taken during peak traffic to travel a given distance, in these four Indian cities is estimated at 149 per cent, much higher than the Asian average of 67 per cent.