Mobility Analytics Blog

StreetLight Data Blog

The latest news about Big Data and mobility analytics.

Blog Feature

Big Data  |  Electric Vehicles  |  Transportation

4 Ways Big Data Can Help With Electric Vehicle Charger Deployment

When we founded StreetLight Data back in 2011, our sole focus was to help educate and plan for electric vehicles (EVs). But we quickly realized that our transportation analytics would have a more significant positive impact if we expanded our mission. However, EVs are still one of my deep interests: I drove a Chevy Volt for several years before going car-free just a few months ago, and I focused on EVs in my early career at the Rocky Mountain Institute and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  Based on my personal experience, I know we can do a better job of planning and deploying EV charging infrastructure. If we want to see wide adoption of EVs, then we must make charging more convenient and affordable while minimizing its impact on our electrical grid. Given the wave of new charging station deployments in the US and abroad, now seems like the right time to explain how Big Data can help.

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Blog Feature

Big Data  |  Transportation  |  autonomous vehicles

Autonomous Vehicles, Big Data, and Our Transportation Future

Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are beginning to dominate much of the public conversation about our transportation future. This was certainly the case at South by Southwest, where I participated in an excellent panel discussion at the C3 Smart Mobility Showcase: “Smart Cities and Data-Driven Deployment of Autonomous Vehicles.” Nearly every single panel at the showcase was related to AV technology. People in that tent were very excited about AVs. However, I found myself thinking back to the 12-lane urban highway that my taxi driver took from my hotel to the event. The local bus would have taken over three times as long, and the drive reminded me that AVs are not a panacea for all that ails our transportation system.

Don’t get me wrong: Talking about AVs at an event like SXSW makes sense, and I’m glad we’re having these conversations. But I think the broader discussion around AVs needs to be focused on accountability. The impact of AVs could be very positive or very negative, as many transportation experts have suggested. In this blog post, I’ll explore how a data-driven approach can help us strike the right balance with AVs, and hold ourselves accountable for achieving a positive outcome for all.

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Blog Feature

Big Data  |  Case Studies  |  Traffic  |  Transportation

Going Beyond Stationary Sensors to Understand Traffic in New York

The smart city movement’s first wave brought tons of stationary sensors to our cities, especially in the context of transportation. These sensors are passively collecting valuable travel pattern information at traffic lights, parking lots, bus stops, sidewalks, and more. But if we want cities that are truly smart – if we want to solve the challenges exposed by our stationary sensors – we have to go beyond them. In this blog post, I will use New York City as a case study to explain why.

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Blog Feature

Big Data  |  Transportation

Our New Consultant Subscription to StreetLight InSight®

For even the most seasoned consulting firms, winning a government contract through competitive bid is no cakewalk. However, there are ways to make your proposals rise to the top – and today, StreetLight Data is introducing a new way to differentiate with StreetLight InSight®, our easy-to-use online platform for turning Big Data into transportation Metrics. Our new Consultant Subscription allows consultants to customize, visualize and download Metrics derived from Massive Mobile Data in ways designed to help grow their businesses.  Keep reading this blog post for all the details.

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Blog Feature

Big Data  |  Transportation  |  Validation

Evaluating Location-Based Services Data for Transportation: Is Our Sample Representative?

Two of the questions we’re often asked here at StreetLight Data are: “What percentage of the population is creating the location records in your sample?" and "Does the location data in your sample fairly represent all income groups, or is it biased?” In this blog post, we’re pulling back the curtain on our internal evaluation process with a deep-dive analysis of our newest data source: Location-Based Services data. We started using this data source chiefly because of its large sample size and representativeness, so in this blog post, I will show you our process for determining these characteristics. (Click here to read more about Location-Based Services data in general.)

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Blog Feature

Big Data  |  Traffic  |  Transportation

Quantifying President Trump’s Impact on Traffic

Since Donald Trump's election on November 8th, 2016, we’ve noticed a major uptick in complaints about traffic in his Manhattan neighborhood. That’s no small feat, especially given that New Yorkers are known for complaining about traffic – just ask Jerry Seinfeld. (For the record, we complain about traffic a ton in San Francisco, too.) However, we hesitate to use subjective grumbling to measure the impact of events. Thanks in part to cognitive biases, people have a tendency to exaggerate traffic and other negative events. Since we were curious about exactly how much travel patterns changed in New York after the election, we decided to use Big Data to crunch the numbers ourselves. (Note: Our study originally appeared in USA Today. Click here to read the article.)

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