We collect traffic data and change cities for the better - Do práce na kole

We collect traffic data and change cities for the better

Imagine that you are the mayor and you are thinking about how to make it as easy as possible for people to move around the city. You think modernly, so you care about sustainability, ecology, and the quality of public space, but also transport efficiency. You want to be a “Smart City”* after all. You have already looked for foreign inspiration in articles about Vienna, Copenhagen or Amsterdam, and you suspect that you will go down the path of supporting sustainable transport, i.e. mainly pedestrians and cyclists. But where to? Where to start? Who to ask? You’ll be surprised, but it’s easier than you think – your residents will give you advice directly without talking to you and knowing anything about city planning! We are starting to work with their traffic data in the Bike to Work challenge.

Data moves the world, and we at AutoMat believe that thanks to Go to work by bike, they will also move Czech cities and thus help with the development of their high-quality, meaningful and safe transport infrastructure. We started collecting unique data from thousands of cyclists, scooter riders, walkers and runners who participate in the May challenge Bike to Work in dozens of cities in the Czech Republic in 2015. In 2019, there were so many of them that we could start actively working with them . Together with the cities that are interested in them, we are now analyzing and evaluating them. These data are the largest set of information on non-motorized mobility in the Czech Republic. And we can boast: No other commercial or non-commercial entity can currently offer cities better data for analyzing the movement of people around the city by bike or on foot.

What will the data tell cities?

Just like any other big data, the data on non-motorized transport represents valuable information, thanks to which you can make better decisions – predict future development scenarios, detect problems in time or plan new projects. You can compare the data with other datasets.

Specifically, the city’s traffic data in combination with its map data will tell us, for example, which routes people choose most often around the city, how much they use cycle paths, where they get off them in favor of roads or, conversely, which places they prefer to avoid completely. In this way, we will help cities to reveal weak and dangerous places to which they should pay more attention. The data will also help to better select routes – in other words, where to lead the new infrastructure (or reroute the old one) with regard to the actual movement of people. In addition to data and their analysis, we also provide cities with consultations on next steps and ideal solutions in specific locations.

What exactly is the data?

We track the routes of people who commute to and from work using non-motorized transport, including times. So it is not, for example, recreational cyclists who use the infrastructure in a different way. Do práce na kelo participants record their routes using GPS and applications (Strava, Cyclers, Prahou na kelo), which they also upload to the Do práce na kelo system. The data we collect is anonymized and fully complies with GDPR requirements.

Why pay attention to traffic data and non-motorized traffic?

If the city uses the data correctly, it can significantly improve the conditions not only for the movement of people, the quality of public space, but also the overall life in the city.

How to get the data?

The data will be obtained by cities that cooperate on the Do práce na kole organization. The more people who participate and record their routes in Bike to Work in a given city, the more comprehensive and accurate a set of traffic data the city will get. If you are a city, support the local organizers or organize the challenge yourself under the coordination of the AutoMat association (the organizers of Do práce na biko). If you are an employer, join Cycle to Work and support your employees.

Jihlavská heatmapa - cyklisty nejvytíženější trasy

Jihlava, record of routes through the city by bike as part of the Bike to Work challenge

 Our vision

We are just getting started with the data, but our ambitions are certainly not small. Our vision is to offer the To work by bike challenge, including its open source system, to cities, companies or even countries that will be looking for smart solutions for the development of their non-motorized infrastructure.
With route data, the cities of Ostrava (see photo), Brno, Hodonín and the Šternbersko microregion are already working on cycling to work.