World Bank has partnered with a taxi-hailing app to help city officials manage traffic congestion and road safety.

Using GPS data from Grab drivers’ smartphones, it has built a dashboard to analyse real-time traffic speeds and flow by location and time.

The OpenTraffic dashboard is open source, which means that others can adapt and improve on it.

It has first been made available to officials in the Philippines in Metro Manila, which covers 17 cities, and Cebu city. It will be opened to other Southeast Asian cities in the near future.

OpenTraffic screenshot

The pilot in Metro Manila will run studies to see how the GPS data can help improve transport. It will analyse peak hour traffic on major roads to design policies on travel during busy periods.

It will also analyse how traffic flows are changed by weather and accidents to design schemes for re-routing cars.

The World Bank and Philippines government have trained 200 officials from the transport department, police, public works and highways, Metro Manila and Cebu transport agency to use the dashboard.

The Bank is also building an app for city officials to track road safety. The app will record accidents and analyse them with traffic data, helping officials identify accident-prone hotspots and take preventive action.

Image by Patricia Feaster, licensed under CC BY 2.0