Moving people and goods faster with automotive data from Otonomo

PTV started using Otonomo data as an additional data source to calibrate existing models. Heatmap FCD records of Ital

We need high-quality data to keep the world moving. As a software company, we incorporate large, disparate datasets into models and planning tools that help cities, companies, and people save money, enhance road safety, and minimize the environmental impact of traffic flows. Thus, Otonomo, a neutral data services platform that ingests automotive data from multiple sources, including OEMs and other data providers, seemed like a great partner. PTV started using Otonomo data as an additional data source to calibrate existing models. The usage is expanded by incorporating the data into traffic models, simulations, and logistic solutions that predict arrival times for commercial fleets.

“Predicting demand on the road is a multifaceted problem,” says Carmen Nowack, Solution Director Data, PTV. “To solve it, we need a truly accurate model of the real world.” Otonomo’s data is enriched by third-party datasets to meet privacy expectations and maximize its value through the companies global Marketplace. The Marketplace matches anonymized or personalized datasets and insights to the needs of innovative new apps and services that improve the driving experience and facilitate safer, more convenient automotive transportation.

Furthermore, additional ways to incorporate Otonomo data services are evaluated. Using them to improve fleet services seem to be a promising option. “Seeing more data gives us new ideas about what we could do with it,” Nowack notes.

Why Otonomo?

PTV has long tapped into many data sources to build its models, including demographic data, road information, and traffic flows of commercial and private vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles, and public transportation systems. Recognizing the importance of accurate, comprehensive data from commercial and passenger vehicles, PTV looked for more efficient ways to access it. “Telematic service providers have a lot of data that could inform traffic management, but it is time-consuming to negotiate separate contracts with them and integrate with their data,” Nowack comments. “Data is just not their main business model.”

Carmen Nowack, Solution Director Data, PTV Group

Otonomo helped PTV take advantage of new automotive data sources faster and with much less effort. “Otonomo has a density of data on its platform that enables it to be used quickly, and the company continues to add more data providers in the connected car market,” Nowack says. “Today, there are not many providers who can deliver this quality and quantity of connected car data. The most important benefit is that I no longer need to address the unique requirements of each individual data provider – Otonomo does that for me. Instead of performing data research, we now have more time for business development.”

PTV started working with Otonomo at the beginning of 2018, and the collaboration gained speed throughout the year. Otonomo’s ability to provide one year of historical data at the start of the proof of concept made it much easier for them to assess the feasibility and value of Otonomo’s data. Integration took place during the proof of concept. “The Otonomo API was easy for our developers to work with,” Nowack reports.


PTV has taken a step-by-step approach to using Otonomo data in different aspects of its software. The company started by using Otonomo data as an additional data source to calibrate existing models and is expanding its use by incorporating it into traffic models, simulations, and logistic solutions that predict arrival times for commercial fleets. The models use aggregated, anonymous data. “Since the logic for many use cases was already in place, we have been able to develop our first sellable projects within a short, three-month period,” Nowack says.


The first benefit that Otonomo has delivered is in improving PTV’s existing traffic models. “With additional automotive data, we can more effectively measure the quality and accuracy within our models,” Nowack explains. Over time, automotive data offers the potential to make these models usable within PTV Real-Time Traffic Management Solutions.

Another aim of PTV Group’s partnership with Otonomo is to expand the addressable market for its solutions by building more packaged software. “We see a lot of market interest for solutions that can tap into automotive data, and Otonomo can help us realize our new ideas faster,” Nowack concludes. “The use cases that interest us most include real-time traffic management solutions, with our software PTV Optima, or the evaluation of new Mobility as a Service (MaaS) solutions.”

“Collaborating with PTV Group has deepened Otonomo’s understanding of the real-world problems that connected car data solves,” says Ben Volkow, CEO at Otonomo. “This practical experience has helped us improve the data processing capabilities of the Otonomo Platform and has helped us educate the market on the value of automotive data.”

Cooperation highlights:

  • Calibrated existing traffic models and created data quality measurements
  • Developed new sellable projects based on automotive data within a short, three-month period
  • Expects to bring new software offerings to market faster

Use Cases:

  • Traffic Planning
  • Transport Network Modelling and Simulation
  • Real-time Traffic Management
  • Mobility-as-a-Service
  • Logistics and Fleet Management

Automotive Data Types:

  • Anonymous
  • Historical
  • Real-time (piloting)

Automotive Data Parameters used:

  • Vehicle location
  • Vehicle speed
  • Vehidcle mode
  • Engine on/off

More about PTV’s maps and data …