Blog Feature

autonomous vehicles | Big Data | Events | Smart Cities | Traffic | Transportation

StreetLight Data Powers UberFlux for Aerial Urban Transportation

May 11, 2018

At this week’s Uber Elevate Summit in LA, I saw the power of using StreetLight Data’s transportation analytics for a brand-new mobility challenge: Optimizing the rollout of new infrastructure for aerial urban transport. Uber hosted the conference to “explore the exciting future of urban aviation” (read: flying shuttles). While lots of the press focused on the new models of Electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing Vehicles (eVTOLs), I know readers of this blog will be even more excited by the use of data-driven planning to design their infrastructure!

What is UberFlux and How Did it Use StreetLight InSight?

At the opening address, and again at a deep dive panel, Uber showed off updates to the UberFlux tool. This tool pulls in data from several sources, including StreetLight InSight, our on-demand platform for turning Big Data into transportation analytics. UberFlux is used, among other things, to find optimal solutions to a complex problem: Where are the best places to site “nodes” for Uber’s upcoming UberAIR program? It is a stellar example of putting Big Data to work to drive transportation forward (should I say “fly” transportation forward?).

Jon Petersen, Head of Data Science at Uber Elevate, said: “StreetLight InSight and the StreetLight team play an important part to our modeling efforts and remain wonderful partners for the Elevate team.”

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Blog Feature

autonomous vehicles | Big Data | Transportation

Autonomous Vehicles, Big Data, and Our Transportation Future

March 16, 2017

Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are beginning to dominate much of the public conversation about our transportation future. This was certainly the case at South by Southwest, where I participated in an excellent panel discussion at the C3 Smart Mobility Showcase: “Smart Cities and Data-Driven Deployment of Autonomous Vehicles.” Nearly every single panel at the showcase was related to AV technology. People in that tent were very excited about AVs. However, I found myself thinking back to the 12-lane urban highway that my taxi driver took from my hotel to the event. The local bus would have taken over three times as long, and the drive reminded me that AVs are not a panacea for all that ails our transportation system.

Don’t get me wrong: Talking about AVs at an event like SXSW makes sense, and I’m glad we’re having these conversations. But I think the broader discussion around AVs needs to be focused on accountability. The impact of AVs could be very positive or very negative, as many transportation experts have suggested. In this blog post, I’ll explore how a data-driven approach can help us strike the right balance with AVs, and hold ourselves accountable for achieving a positive outcome for all.

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