Decrease in traffic congestion helps to increase efficiency of essential commercial vehicles during COVID-19 pandemic

Published on April 14, 2020

Connected vehicle data analysis from Geotab highlights changes in congestion and vehicle speed in seven U.S. cities

  • There has been an average road speed increase of 16 percent.
  • New York City has shown a 20 percent increase in average road speeds, the most significant increase of the seven cities.
  • There has been a significant decrease in the time stopped at intersections across all seven cities, with Atlanta having the largest reduction of approximately 17 percent.

TORONTO, ON - April 14, 2020 - Geotab, a global leader in IoT and connected transportation, today revealed new data insights highlighting the impact that COVID-19 has had on commercial vehicle activity  in seven major U.S. cities. The data, which is processed from more than 2 million Geotab connected vehicles worldwide, shows an increase in average commercial vehicle speeds and a reduction in time spent at intersections compared to averages from February 22, 2020 to March 15, 2020, indicating reduced congestion in these cities following regional stay-at-home orders.


“Now more than ever, commercial vehicle drivers are tasked with moving essential goods across the country to help ensure that U.S. citizens have access to necessities like groceries, toiletries and more,” said Mike Branch, Vice President of Data and Analytics at Geotab. “Through our analysis, we have seen a noticeable decrease in traffic congestion based on average speeds and time spent at intersections. This means that with less traffic on the roads, commercial vehicles are able to travel through typically congested major cities in a more efficient way, allowing these essential drivers to get where they are going quicker.”


According to the analysis, the U.S. city with the largest increase in average road speeds was found to be New York City, moving from an average speed of 17.5 mph to an average of 21.0 mph - a 20 percent increase. San Francisco and Washington had the second largest increase in average road speeds.

Chart with average road speeds

In addition to average road speed, the analysis also examined the average time stopped at city intersections after March 15, 2020 compared to average times from February 22, 2020 to March 15, 2020. The city with the largest reduction in time spent at intersections was Atlanta at 17 percent, with an average of 35 seconds spent at an intersection compared to 42 seconds before March 15. The city that has shown the smallest reduction in time spent at intersections is Seattle, with a three percent difference since before March 15.

Chart with average time spent at intersection data

“Examining connected car datasets at the city level helps provide some clarity and understanding about what is happening in our communities during unprecedented times such as this,” added Branch. “As citizens across both the U.S. and the world continue to stay home, our support for frontline essential workers continues to be of the utmost importance.”


To learn more about Geotab’s key COVID-19 data insights, visit the Geotab blog.


To access visual assets, click here.

Media Contact

Kelly Hall

Geotab Inc.

Communications Manager

About Geotab

Geotab is advancing security, connecting commercial vehicles to the internet and providing web-based analytics to help customers better manage their fleets. Geotab’s open platform and Marketplace, offering hundreds of third-party solution options, allows both small and large businesses to automate operations by integrating vehicle data with their other data assets. As an IoT hub, the in-vehicle device provides additional functionality through IOX Add-Ons. Processing billions of data points a day, Geotab leverages data analytics and machine learning to help customers improve productivity, optimize fleets through the reduction of fuel consumption, enhance driver safety, and achieve strong compliance to regulatory changes. Geotab’s products are represented and sold worldwide through Authorized Geotab Resellers. To learn more, please visit and follow us @GEOTAB and onLinkedIn.