What Is Traffic Data?

Traffic data consists of timestamped geolocation data that indicates the speeds and directions at which vehicles are moving on a particular roadway or area. Traffic data has uses in traffic management applications for smart cities, mapping, navigation and route planning, urban planning, and location intelligence.

Traffic Data from Connected Cars Offers Significant Advantages

Many of the vehicles sold today are connected, meaning that they are computerized and connected to the cloud. These vehicles can generate car data, which offers advantages when used to complement traditional data collection approaches based on aftermarket devices or cellular data:

  • They do not require additional hardware in the vehicle, like the dongle-based solutions used by fleets or electronic toll transponders do today, or induction loops embedded in the road.
  • They are less complex and more precise than floating cellular data collected from mobile phones, which must be triangulated and may contain data from people walking, bicycling, or riding trains.
  • The data can be efficiently de-identified for specific use cases using a solution like the Otonomo Data Services Platform.


Traffic Data Enables Valuable Driver Service

Navigation and traffic information systems use car data to predict trip times and guide drivers to the fastest route. In a recent survey of American connected car owners and new car buyers, 91% of respondents were interested in their cars knowing about traffic and suggesting a route. 


Otonomo protects drivers and supports regulatory compliance.

Making Traffic Data More Actionable

Traffic data generated by connected cars may need to be processed in order to be useful in mobility services. For example, it may need: 

  • Aggregation into vehicle trips and de-identification
  • Cleansing to remove invalid data points
  • Normalization so that data from different vehicle makes and models use consistent formats
  • Data that is further enriched with detailed reverse geocoding, including towns, villages, cities, and road names.

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