Uber opens up (some of) its data

By Teamspirit on Thursday, 12 January 2017

Uber has started opening up its traffic data via a new website, Movement.

Initially intended for use by city planners and researchers, the ride-hailling company plans to make its data available to everyone.

While it may seem counterintuitive for Uber to allow potential competitors access to information about traffic flows and demand prediction, the company says that it wants to put something back into the cities in which it operates.

Of course, it also stands to benefit from urban infrastructure improvements and closer relationships to municipal governments.

Uber claims that only anonymised information will be available, and that any data that could be reverse engineered (around sensitive locations, for example) will not be served to users.

Much like Amazon’s quiet but hugely successful shift into web services, this is a fascinating example of a disruptor looking to both solidify and diversify its position by exploiting every service and piece of data at its disposal.

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