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Quiz: Did traffic take a summer vacation too?

HERE analyzes the impact of recent summer holiday travel on vehicle speeds across three European capitals.

Another summer has come and gone in Europe. The kids are back at school and summer clothes are back in the closet. Your friends at HERE join in mourning the loss of holiday season, a remarkable time of year when people participate in the annual migration from city centers across Europe to beaches and tranquil escapes throughout the continent and the world.

For the hundreds of HERE employees who support the company’s traffic services, the end of summer brought an abundance of information, trillions of points of data, on traffic patterns throughout the world. HERE recently spent some time analyzing historical traffic patterns of three major European cities during the summer months to see what trends have emerged. We examined data from 2012 through 2015.


The crucial point to remember is that when people are out of town on vacation, and aren't driving school runs, there are fewer cars on the road, equating to a decrease in overall volume, and therefore the average vehicle speed goes up. Less traffic + higher vehicle speed = happy drivers.

Some of the results may come as a surprise, or perhaps they simply validate what many of you experience on the roads of London, Paris and Berlin. Tell us what you think, and be sure to share this post with your social media networks.

Good news Londoners, it looks like you’re getting out of town during the summer months. The bad news: average vehicle speeds on London roads in the summer are decreasing year over year…

Illustrated in the graphic below, starting in June and ending in August, vehicle speeds in London increase on average by 9 per cent, or 3.4 kilometers per hour, during the weekday morning rush hour (7-9 am).

Unfortunately, since 2012 the average vehicle speed on London streets during the summer months has decreased. Londoners are driving on average nearly 3 kilometers per hour slower in 2015 than they were in 2012.


Well done, Parisians. From the beginning of July through early September, the average vehicle speed across the city was substantially higher.

Take a look at the noticeable arch in vehicle speed during the summer months. You tell us, but it sure looks like locals are emptying out of Paris during the summer months as fast as tourists are coming in. In fact, starting in June and ending in August, vehicle speeds in Paris increased on average nearly 20 per cent, or 11 kilometers per hour, during the weekday morning rush hour (7-9 am).

But sorry, Parisians, similar to the residents of London, average vehicle speed across Paris in the summer months has decreased since 2012 by approximately 1.3 per cent each year or 4 per cent for three years.



Attention Berliners. For years, your average vehicle speed throughout the summer has been remarkably consistent.

Berliners undoubtedly go on vacation in droves. However, take a look at the graphic below, since 2012 the average speed of vehicles have stayed remarkably consistent throughout the summer months. In fact, compared to the decrease of speed in London and Paris, Berlin has had a 5.2 per cent increase in average speed from 2014 to 2015.


We hope you enjoyed looking at a snapshot of our traffic data. In the months ahead, HERE will continue to illuminate the incredibly relevant, complex and fascinating world of traffic management.

HERE precision mapping and real time big data is combined with deep insights to create an up-to-the-minute traffic analytics for customers around the globe. To read more about our analytics services, click here.

image credits: Concept Photo / Shutterstock.com

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