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We recently participated in Techcrunch Mobility and it got us thinking. While the topics across panels ranged from autonomous vehicles, smart infrastructure and even revolutionizing how we fly, the participants all seemed to circle around one key theme – overcoming the obstacles associated with meeting new transportation demands by understanding better.
While this notion may appear simple on the surface, the need to understand is complex especially when it comes to transforming how we move people and things. Our perspective, affirmed by the sessions at the event, is that mobility is not just a silo but rather a crucial piece of our everyday lives. And because of that, it has the power to change our world for the better – driving equity, tackling climate change and making people happier.
When it comes to overcoming obstacles, it is critical to have a true, accurate understanding of what the problem is. Whether reducing traffic congestion, increasing the use of electric vehicles, or modeling autonomous decision making, the answer lies in understanding what is happening today, based on accurate data, and using insights to guide actions that will create a positive impact.
As we think about the challenges our peers raised in each session, we couldn’t help but consider… you guessed it… big data. Connected vehicle data to be exact and the problems it could help solve.
Here were a few topics that came up throughout the day, and how we see connected vehicle data fitting in:
One area that came up several times throughout the event was electrification. How do we get more people driving EVs? The answer could lie in connected vehicle data. By analyzing exactly how many miles vehicles drive on average a day (hint: according to Wejo data, that number in the US is 36 miles for all cars and 15 miles for EVs), governments can better engage with the public on educational campaigns about range anxiety and their actual behavior. Additionally connected vehicle data can be used to intelligently place charging stations in optimal locations.
The notion of mobility being key to breaking down barriers for underserved communities was a major theme. Adding more transportation options to a community can unlock huge opportunities for citizens living there – in many cases opportunities that were not possible due to lack of access to affordable, convenient mobility options. But initiatives to invest in these can be fragile. They often require large funding asks from city governments and are scrutinized by taxpayers. With connected vehicle data, community leaders can ensure they are making infrastructure decisions on accurate and unbiased information, increasing their chance of success and giving confidence to the community in their decisions.
One commonality with most of the infrastructure-related projects discussed throughout the sessions is that they will all require large-scale construction This will ultimately lead to an increase in work zones on the roads. Work zones can be a challenge both from a safety perspective but also when it comes to traffic congestion. With connected vehicle data, governments can gain insight into work zone incidents and traffic trends to mitigate backups and reduce work-zone related traffic incidents, including where to place queue trucks to avoid vehicle collisions.
Big data is key to problem solving, but solutions can only be unlocked with the right data, we believe connected vehicle data can not only understand transportation problems better but enables you to analyze and more accurately model ways in which to fix those problems. It was clear throughout the event that this notion transcends the industry. The problem, however, is that obtaining and analyzing data can be costly and require expertise that many organizations, especially municipalities, do not have. It is therefore critical for data to be accessible, clean, and unbiased.
At Wejo, we are committed to data for good. Our connected vehicle data provides insights that can enable teams, even those without in-house data experts, to make smart decisions – decisions that change the world for the better. By focusing on making data easy to access and visualize, we are working to help organizations across the mobility sector better understand what is happening out on the roads so they can transform the sector. Our unique CVD provides insights in near real-time, and provides information that is reliable not only from a historic perspective but to leverage day-to-day in a predictive way.