Dearborn’s Ford, California’s Uber, Lyft Pledge Data to Urban Mobility Platform

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Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn and California-based Uber and Lyft Wednesday announced they have committed to share data with SharedStreets, a new data platform designed to make it easier for the private sector to work with cities as well as leverage data to improve urban mobility.

SharedStreets is a project of the Open Transport Partnership, a nonprofit organization that builds tools for public-private collaboration around transport data.

The data the companies pledged will provide the public and private sectors with new tools to manage curb space to reduce congestion and emissions, improve efficiency of city streets, and prevent crashes.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for business and government to work together to rethink transportation,” says Jim Hackett, president and CEO of Ford Motor Co. “Collaborating through initiatives such as SharedStreets will enable us to use vehicles, road systems, and data together to create a new roadmap for mobility. We are working toward a future where all cities are smart and curb space is actively managed, increasing efficiency and safety, while reducing driver stress and pollution.”

The public-private partnership is the result of a collaboration with the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), the Open Transport Partnership, and Bloomberg Philanthropies, which is the consortium behind the SharedStreets data platform.

“Ride-share and auto companies have been gathering an enormous amount of data on transportation and traffic. Now, cities will be able use it to find new ways to manage congestion, reduce carbon emissions, prevent traffic crashes, and prepare for the arrival of autonomous vehicles,” says Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and former mayor of New York City.

“It’s a great example of how governments and businesses can work together to solve tough problems and build a better world, and I want to thank all the companies that are taking part.”

Mayors will have unparalleled access to road traffic data, allowing them to make better planning and investment decisions as shared and autonomous mobility arrive in cities. The agreement also offers a link for mobility companies, providing a common standard for sharing data across all cities, where local requirements vary.

SharedStreets was launched earlier this year by Bloomberg Philanthropies and is a universal data language for sharing information about city streets. It is already operating in more than 30 cities around the world.

As part of the agreement, Ford will develop a universal data standard for real-time curb demand and availability. Cities will be able to responsibly price and manage curb space in real-time and provide a down payment on a global, comprehensive roadway pricing mechanism that cities and companies can use to encourage sustainable transportation choices, reallocate road space, and reduce carbon emissions.

Uber will release vehicle speed data from cities around the world, so they can identify where people are speeding and redesign streets accordingly. Uber will include this speed in an update of its open-source Kepler.gl tool, providing cities with innovative new tools for data visualization and information sharing. Lyft will follow and release their own city data speed set.

Lyft will join SharedStreets and Uber to produce a universal framework for sharing curbside pickup and drop-off counts. Building on an early SharedStreets feature first announced with Uber, Lyft will also collaborate on a model for providing anonymized, aggregated curb usage data to cities, so city leaders can understand where for-hire vehicle trips are in the greatest demand and can work to reduce congestion, make curbsides more innovative and efficient, and better serve drivers, bikers, and pedestrians.

NACTO represents 74 cities and transit agencies across North America, and cities across the globe have formally endorsed the data sharing policies of SharedStreets.

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