One Year of NYC Cab Trips

HubCab followed all NYC Cab pickups and dropoffs in 2011 and created this interactive map with the help of MIT Senseable City Lab

Enter HubCab, a project of MIT Senseable City Lab who captured year’s worth of data from taxi pickups and dropoffs in New York City. The technical development section of HubCab‘s website provides a detailed explanation of the backend required for this level of data processing if you want to nerd out on that, but the interactive map is the clearly the most fun.

The basis of the HubCab tool is a data set of over 170 million taxi trips of all 13,500 Medallion taxis in New York City in 2011. The data set contains GPS coordinates of all pickup and drop off points and corresponding times.

View HubCab Interactive Map

All taxi pickups and drop offs at JFK airport daily between 3AM and 6AM.
All taxi pickups and drop offs at JFK airport daily between 3AM and 6AM.

How GM Makes Sure Cars Sound Like Cars

GM describes how sound design is an integral part of the design and manufacturing process of automobiles

Sound design of a different sort in this article from Medium, which gives some insight into the world of how sound is an integral part of the automobile design and manufacturing processes.

In general, to improve fuel economy in a car, you want to reduce the engine’s RPM. Over the past few decades, the auto industry has been doing that. In the 90s, says Gordon, a 4c engine might be cruising at 3,400 RPM. Today, it’s below 2,000.

But as you reduce the speed that the drive shaft is rotating, you lower the frequency of the sound it’s making. There comes a lower limit where the engine is making what Gordon calls “groan-y and moan-y” noises which people find unpleasant. The car sounds broken. So cars had to keep the engine’s RPM above a certain level, hurting their fuel efficiency, or risk alienating customers.

How GM makes a car sound like what a car is supposed to sound like [via Medium]

The Physics Behind Traffic Jams

Learn how traffic jams form, how to deal with them, and how to prevent them in this study by William Beaty in Smart Motorist

Here is a rather detailed, but insightful and constructive look at what causes traffic jams and more importantly some tips on preventing them. Read the entire piece by William Beaty, for a whole bunch of sciencey stuff about driving and traffic and some tips backed up by his own experiments in Seattle.

It’s always a good idea to drive without changing speed and without competing with other drivers for bits of headway. But I’d always assumed that the reasons were philosophical rather than practical. A single solitary driver, if they stop “competing” and instead adopt some unusual driving habits, can actually wipe away some of the frustrating traffic

(TL;DR, don’t be rude to other drivers, use common sense, and have patience)

The Physics Behind Traffic Jams [via SmartMotorist]

 

Automatic – Driving Assistant

Automatic Driving Assistant uses in-car obd-ii technology to link driving, maintenance, and usage info for your car or vehicle to your iPhone or iOS device

Automatic Driving AssistantiPhone OBD-ii integration has come a long way since we first looked at the integration here a few years ago with CarTrip. What a difference a few years makes! The $70 Automatic includes access to the app and the integrated OBD-ii dongle.

With a highly-refined app, and my well documented obsession with technology and statistics, this is definitely on my to-buy list. I recently added the JawBone Up to my personal repertoire for tracking movement, eating, and sleep and have used Fuelly for a several years to manually track fuel economy and costs, and Waze to manage and track driving / directions. Excited for a solution to combine all these concepts in a good-looking app and give more accuracy than I could get tryIng to cull data manually.

Automatic

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