Already the front runner in mapping, Google recently invested further in its navigation portfolio, acquiring California-based movement analytics startup Urban Engines, a digital solution company that helps cities and people understand traffic and minimize time spent in congestion.
“Urban Engines is now a part of the Google Maps team,” the startup announced. “Location analytics is an important focus for both Urban Engines and Google, and we’re excited to combine forces to help organizations better understand how the world moves.”
Founded in 2014, Urban Engines has sought to provide a solution to make transit data comprehensible for transportation companies, taxis and delivery services as well as the general public. The company relies on data released by transit authorities and customizes tool to create easy-to-understand movement patterns. Analysis provided is not only beneficial in saving time and curbing pollution, but may even improve public health. A recent study conducted by scientists in the University of Surrey found that prolonged period of time in traffic is bad for your health as adjusting one’s car ventilation system when stuck in traffic can increase exposure to toxic fumes by up to 76%.
Google has relied on its subsidiary Waze to help provide real-time traffic congestion updates on its Google Maps app. The global company’s interest in mapping and movement also led it to introduce Google Trips, a free phone app designed for modern tourists to aid them in planning trips, booking hotels and plane tickets and keeping the data to be used without having access to internet.