City planners have been asking for access to detailed ride-hailing data for years. Uber has generally pushed back, citing protection of its business advantage and of passenger privacy. The company has started to share limited, aggregated datasets on traffic speeds and travel times for certain cities, including San Francisco, over the past two years…
The real value of Uber — $82.4 billion in its IPO earlier this year — isn’t derived from the ever-growing list of services it provides: ridesharing, food delivery, cargo shipping, all those damn scooters. What makes Uber valuable is the massive amount of data it’s amassed about how we move, and how much we’re willing to pay to do it.
Uber might have posted a loss of $5.2 billion last quarter, leading its present market cap to dwindle down to around $54 billion. But the data it reaps on its riders, and its proprietary grip on it, continues to be priceless.