Uber plans to share its data with the city of Boston following a partnership which aims to help manage growth as well as improve congestion and reduce pollution.
In a blog post, Uber says it will deliver anonymised ride data on where trips begin and end as well as distance travelled and duration of trip.
The app-based taxi service goes on to talk about smart cities and smart data and says it can help destinations understand how people move around.
Mayor of Boston, Martin Walsh says:
"In Boston, data is driving our conversations, our policy making and how we envision the future of our city. We are using data to change the way we deliver services and we welcome the opportunity to add to our resources. This will help us reach our transportation goals, improve the quality of our neighborhoods and allow us to think smarter, finding more innovative and creative solutions to some of our most pressing challenges."
It's an interesting partnership from a number of angles. It makes you wonder if newcomers like Uber and similar startups are only ones able to provide this sort of data? Could they make themselves almost indispensable to cities with the insight they provide?
It's also worth watching in light of a general trend towards how data can manage the movement of increasing populations in cities and deliver relevant services to consumers.
Car manufacturer Ford announced city mobility projects during CES with pilots for London to alleviate congestion through car-sharing, parking and shuttle services.
And the World Economic Forum has also been looking at eliminating congestion by using real-time data for better traffic management.