A look at taxi pick-up and drop-off points as a useful tool to understand urban mobility.
A lot of data which gives great clues for city planners and researchers can come from regular city taxis. Given that in most cities taxis are the most often used vehicles, by recording data from their activity, taxis can become far more than transportation tools. They become roving sensors that travel the city.
While performing their daily routes, taxis can track traffic conditions, travel demands, and locations that will give potential passengers the best rides, and the most pleasant trips. This can be incorporated numerous ways, from installing video cameras for visuals, security and surveillance, to shock sensors tracking bumpy areas, to credit card swiping for marketing. By finding out how taxis ideally suit a city, complement public transit and interact with the urban landscape, and observing ways to make it better, taxis can be a useful and integral data-collecting tool.