Location technology specialist, TomTom (TOM2), today released the TomTom Traffic Index, a report detailing the traffic situation in 2020 in over 400 cities in 57 countries. Although the ranking of the world’s most congested cities has shifted very little from 2019, the big change is how far congestion levels have fallen due to the global pandemic. Out of the 416 cities included in the Index, 387 saw a significant decrease (average of 21%) in congestion, and an astonishing 28% average decrease in congestion during rush hours, bucking a trend that has seen congestion increase by an average of 2-3% year-on-year.

TomTom’s traffic data, which is powered by 600 million connected devices, is an authoritative indicator of people movement, economic activity levels, global trade, and so much more. Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, TomTom’s traffic insights have been used by analysts, corporations, and the media to explain a world in flux.

As well as ranking cities from the most to the least congested, the TomTom Traffic Index report provides incredible data insights into how the global pandemic changed mobility through engaging and interactive visuals.

Ralf-Peter Schäfer, TomTom’s Vice President of Traffic and Travel, said: “Last year, we announced that global congestion levels in 2019 had increased for the ninth consecutive Traffic Index. In 2020, we saw a vastly different picture. From lockdowns to closed borders, people movement changed – and it changed very fast.”

However, TomTom’s experts don’t expect the roads to stay so uncongested unless there’s a concerted and deliberate change in driver behavior, supported by policy makers and, importantly, employers. Although the global pandemic has created an opportunity to change traffic forever, will people embrace the shift in mobility and take a new path towards a cleaner, congestion-free future? For example, an end to the rush hour could even be possible through flexible working hours, working from home, and a smart approach to using traffic data to determine the best times to travel.

Schäfer continued “Although traffic congestion was down in 2020, it’s not going to become a trend unless we take action. We might even see traffic levels shoot up again as people get back to work and back into old routines. That’s why now is the time that city planners, policy makers, employers – and drivers – must take stock of what they will do to make the roads less congested in the future.”

The ranking

  1. Moscow, Russia: 54% congestion level
  2. Mumbai, India: 53%
  3. Bogota, Colombia: 53%
  4. Manila, Philippines: 53%
  5. Istanbul, Turkey: 51%
  6. Bengaluru, India: 51%
  7. Kyiv, Ukraine: 51%
  8. New Delhi, India: 47%
  9. Novosibirsk, Russia: 45%
  10. Bangkok, Thailand, 44%

The full ranking.

Escapes from our capital citiesIn 2020 we observed the mass exodus of people from capitals across Europe. The day before second lockdown was the most congested day in Athens and London in 2020. Meanwhile in Paris, traffic jams reached a record length.

Paris, 29 October, 18:00 – 142% London, 4 November, 17:00 – 104% Athens, 6 November, 18:00 – 123%

Notes to editors

TomTom’s predictions for the future of trafficTomTom explores what the future of traffic will look like on the TomTom Blog. Imagining a new world just a few years from now, where the results of the traffic experiment that was 2020 have become reality. The article outlines future scenarios and explores the steps we can take to achieve them.

The TomTom Traffic Index report is onlineAt tomtom.com/TrafficIndex, people can discover where their city ranked in 2020, how congestion changed month-by-month and year-on-year. They can see the most congested days, and even most congested hours of the day – and work out the best times to travel. For the first time, the Traffic Index website has country pages: explorable snapshots of the traffic situation in 57 countries.

What is the Congestion Level percentage?Congestion Level percentage is the extra travel time a driver will experience when compared to an uncongested situation.

A 53% congestion level in Bangkok, for example, means that a 30-minute trip will take 53% more time than it would during Bangkok’s baseline uncongested conditions.

You can turn this 53% into travel time through simple calculations.First: 0.53 x 30 mins = 15.9 mins extra average travel time.Second: 30 mins + 15.9 mins = 45.9 mins total average travel time.

We calculate the baseline per city by analyzing free-flow travel times of all vehicles on the entire road network – recorded 24/7, 365 days a year. This information allows us to also calculate, for example, how much extra time a driver will spend in traffic during rush hour in Bangkok.

We perform calculations for all hours of each day, so you can see congestion levels at any time in any city, including morning and evening peak hours.

What is TomTom Traffic?Analyzing real-time incidents and congestion to predict traffic before it happens, TomTom’s Real-Time Traffic makes TomTom navigation software more accurate with enhanced route calculations and accurate estimated times of arrival (ETA). That’s why TomTom is the market leader, with its traffic technology in millions of cars on the road around the world. TomTom Traffic knows the road ahead, saving time, fuel and stress for drivers, fleet and logistics providers, on-demand services (ride hailing, food delivery), and traffic management services.

About TomTom

TomTom is the leading independent location technology specialist, shaping mobility with highly accurate maps, navigation software, real-time traffic information and services.

To achieve our vision of a safer world, free of congestion and emissions, we create innovative technologies that keep the world moving. By combining our extensive experience with leading business and technology partners, we power connected vehicles, smart mobility and, ultimately, autonomous driving.

Headquartered in Amsterdam with offices in 30 countries, TomTom’s technologies are trusted by hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

www.tomtom.com

For further Information:

Media:tomtom.pr@tomtom.com 

Investor Relations: ir@tomtom.com 

_____________________________* Of the representative 416 cities in 57 countries that the TomTom Traffic Index features in the report

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/b8a7fc4c-2464-40a3-95c6-02f5894077e2