Uber Movement and the legendary ‘Bangalore traffic’

Back in 2014, Uber was in a mess (when was it NOT in a mess, while also growing—its valuation—at a manic speed?) when Josh Mohrer, general manager of Uber New York used an internal tool called ‘God View’ to track the movement of Buzzfeed News reporter Johana Bhuiyan. It’s like Gmail tracking/reading one person’s email, for example.

Now, Uber puts that power to a broader use with anonymized big-data in a tool called Movement. There is data on 4 Indian cities to play around with (among many international cities) – Bangalore, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai. I tried a few routes to find the average time and most were out-of-whack from what is popularly known as ‘Bangalore traffic’.

Still, this is an interesting effort because I have always wondered, ‘What average speed does Google Maps use to calculate ETA?’. Uber perhaps has that level of detail more than Google. Google, for the record, uses, multiple sets of data to arrive at ETA (see the response by Richard Russell, an ex-Google engineer).