There’s no denying the fact that we live in an increasingly connected world. Finding old friends through Facebook has never been easier. Video chatting with friends or family across the world requires nothing more than a web cam and an internet connection. You’d be hard pressed to find something that we use in our daily lives that hasn’t been turned digital. Now, your commute is turning digital as well.
The New Cities Foundation (NCF), a non-profit based in Paris focused on creating a “more socially, economically and environmentally sustainable urban future,” has taken on the task of rethinking the way Silicon Valley, CA commuters can improve their daily drive to work using dedicated smartphone apps and some wherewithal from companies like Ericsson, Orange Labs, and a partnership with the San Jose Department of Transportation. The NCF is using two apps, Waze (Earthgarage review) and Roadify, both of which collect realtime data on commuters using GPS information and user generated public transit updates, respectively, to better understand how, when, and why commuters commute the way they do currently.
By targeting drivers who share the same, or very similar, daily commutes, the NCF should be able to start piecing together data enabling them to explore what routes are most congested, what routes are underused, if there are options to take public transit and help commuters reduce emissions, or if there are better options to create better traffic flow and help drivers (and cities) save money on gas.
Using the data collected in this study of the technology capital of the United States will help the NCF implement similar strategies in growing cities all over the world. This unique view on commuting will surely be an example to watch in the coming decades as cities expand and commuters look for more eco friendly ways to commute to and from the office.
Earthgarage – Greener Car. Fatter Wallet.