- Transportation data analytics company StreetLight Data has announced a $10 million round of funding.
- The company says it will use the funding to expand geographically and to invest in new analytics product innovations to solve transportation problems including vehicle emissions, infrastructure investments, the impact of new modes of transportation on communities and launching autonomous vehicles (AVs) in a socially positive and productive manner.
- StreetLight Data's analytics and software primarily serve government agencies, such as transportation authorities and city planners, in addition to some private sector businesses.
StreetLight Data's services, in particular its InSight software, have been gaining popularity in the past couple years as state and local governments increasingly find value in using analytics to improve operations, infrastructure and services.
The company collects data from a few hundred smart phone apps — including weather and dating apps — with enabled location data. It anonymizes the data to protect user privacy and then provides nearly real-time views of user traffic in a particular region. Cities that have installed sensors can integrate that data into the platform as well. This kind of data gives planners a look into residents' travel habits including where congestion occurs and which direction the most people travel at different times of day.
Earlier this summer it launched its Multimodal Measurement Initiative, a working group to analyze how different modes of transportation interact, including pedestrians, bikes, public transit and a host of different types of motorized vehicles. This is smart because each transportation mode does not exist in a silo and its users interact with users of other modes. Getting insight into these interactions can improve safety, energy use and a variety of other factors that city planners consider.
Transportation data analytics is rapidly gaining importance as mobility undergoes a transformation. Innovations like ride-share and bike-share have influenced mobility in a very short amount of time and future innovations like AVs promise to further evolve the transportation space. If cities get ahead of the AV trend and invest in the necessary infrastructure before widespread AV adoption, it can ease the public's transition to a world with AVs and provide greater safety protections.
StreetLight Data's plans to expand and improve its services with the funding infusion could provide local governments even better and more comprehensive data analytics solutions that they can use to build better cities.