01/09/2016
National

Metropia helps users get to their destinations more quickly and provides them with perks for doing so. But that’s not the only thing Metropia does.

The Metropia app uses urban analytics to help those commuters to and from their destinations. Urban analytics, or data about when, where, how, and how fast bodies and vehicles move through urban space, provides valuable information for developers, government decision-makers, and entrepreneurs.

Here are 10 things urban analytics can do beyond helping you get to work on time.

1. Provide information about travel patterns.

If city officials are thinking of adding another lane to a highway, or are considering reducing lanes on a street, they can use urban analytics to parse data about how those decisions would affect traffic congestion—and whether or not it is ultimately worth it to spend the money to get rid of or add more road space.

2. Analyze driving behavior and safety.

If there are a lot of car accidents on a certain street, urban analytics can be used to pinpoint where or what the contributing hazards are, and then help find a way to reduce those hazards in the future.

3. Insure people based on their driving.

User-based insurance is a new trend in car insurance. This is when a device or chip is inserted into the vehicle to track driving behavior and safety; good drivers have cheaper insurance premiums, whereas poor or dangerous drivers have higher premiums or pay penalties

4. Determine public transportation frequency.

Using real-time data, urban analytics can help transit management know when to add more buses or trains to their fleets, when or where to add lines, or when to remove existing lines.

5. Create plans for future development.

Using data sets from several years as well as real-time data, urban analytics can aid city and regional planners in extrapolating when they might need to add more roads, lanes, or transit systems. This will allow them to have the time to gather the funding and plan for development before the everyday situation for commuters gets out of control.

6. Help with event management.

Urban analytics is one way large venues and stadiums can figure out how to manage the large amounts of traffic and visitors they expect to have in attendance. Massive events can run more smoothly and have less of an effect on commuters in the surrounding area when there are enough signs and directions, plenty of parking spots, and public transit lines have been notified to increase their frequency. 

7. Lend aid during disasters.

Similar to large-scale event management, urban analytics can help regional authorities prepare for and enact aid measures during natural or other kinds of disaster situations. The data can be used to help get people out of harm’s way, and to make evacuations and assistance run more smoothly.

8. Create more mobility.

Planners, developers, and transportation authorities can work together with urban analytics data to enable local populations to be better connected on small and large scales. This could mean better connecting cities and their suburbs with outer-lying areas, as well as ensuring that people from different areas have a reliable transit system to get them wherever they need to go within urban space.

9. Build new models.

Academics, theorists, planners, and programmers can use urban analytics data to create new models for ideal cities that are efficient to live and get around in. Not only can this help developers find new ways to improve existing urban areas, but it can pave the way for smarter urban development in new areas. 

10. Future incentives.  

Apps like Metropia and programs like user-based insurance are just two ways that urban analytics can be used to provide incentivized strategies to get people to change their behaviors. With data-influenced development, new programs can be created in the future to help and reward people while also teaching them to adopt more efficient, safer, and more effective ways of living in their cities.

 

From algorithms to building projects and beyond, urban analytics can help make our cities better places to live, work, and move about.