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Nick Gaskill

Test Drive New Automotive Data in Wolfram|Alpha

November 30, 2010 —
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Automotive data is an important economic parameter that is tracked by both private organizations and governments across the globe. Both the quantity and type of automotive data available in Wolfram|Alpha were recently expanded to include the amount of traffic, vehicles in use, auto-related injuries and fatalities, and road lengths by country. For example, Wolfram|Alpha can now tell you how much traffic there is in the United Kingdom. In addition to answering the primary query with the total amount of road traffic, Wolfram|Alpha also tells you the types of vehicles that are responsible for that traffic.

In the example below, passenger cars were responsible for most of the traffic, with trucks and vans coming in at a distant second. Just below the breakdown of traffic by vehicle type, you can also see the total number of those vehicles that are in use.

United Kingdom auto traffic

As you might have guessed, having both of these data types available lets you calculate the distance traveled by the average car in the U.K. each year.

United Kingdom traffic data for 2005 compared to cars in use in 2005

The new automotive data in Wolfram|Alpha also confirm some commonly observed trends. For example, the number of vehicles in use in China has grown substantially over the last few years.

Vehicles in use in China

Wolfram|Alpha also shows that the number of trucks and vans relative to passenger cars in use in the United States has increased dramatically since the early 1990s.


Another trend highlighted by Wolfram|Alpha’s new automotive data is a general increase in safety in recent years. Many industrialized nations have seen a decrease in the number of accidents resulting in personal injury, including the U.S. and U.K.

United States auto accidents
United Kingdom auto accidents

The examples discussed here are just a portion of the automotive data now available in Wolfram|Alpha. Any of the individual statistics shown in the above examples can be queried directly to view in a plot over time. Try out some queries for automotive statistics on your country, and let us know if you discover any interesting patterns. What other types of transportation statistics would you like to see in Wolfram|Alpha?


What other types of transportation statistics would you like to see in Wolfram|Alpha?

Railway traffic (passenger and freight)

Spain railway traffic (passenger and freight)

Posted by Fernando de Cos December 1, 2010 at 12:02 pm

As electric vehicles begin to gain share of the U.S. auto market do you guys plan to track EV sales? Or any pertinent EV data such as battery lifespans, miles per charge etc?

Posted by Michael Warren December 2, 2010 at 11:16 am

Data on commercial air travel, and sales of commercial aircraft would be a good.

Posted by Ted Ersek December 6, 2010 at 8:18 am