UK-based CV data firm reveals USA’s driving trends over Thanksgiving and Black Friday


Wejo, a UK technology company developing global mobility services through connected vehicle (CV) data has revealed the driving patterns of millions of USA citizens over the Thanksgiving holiday period and Black Friday.

By processing 15 billion data points every day, Wejo organizes historical and real-time vehicle data to deliver insights that significantly improve the road experience of drivers, owners and riders. To date, the company has curated 140 billion miles of data and expects to have 17 million cars on its platform by the end of the year. Wejo employs more than 200 people and has offices in Tattenhall and Manchester in the UK, and in San Jose (California), and Austin (Texas) in the USA.

Wejo’s data scientists organised and analysed information from millions of CVs in the USA and by comparing typical weekday driving distances with Thanksgiving and Black Friday journeys, to show:

  • Nationwide on Thanksgiving, drivers travelled an average of 15% farther than on a typical Thursday;
  • Drivers in the neighbouring southern states were prepared to spend the most time behind the wheel to reach their Thanksgiving destination, with a typical one-third increase in journey distances. Mississipi showed an increase of 37% versus the usual amount of time travelled, with Louisiana 28%, Alabama 25% and Arkansas 23%
  • In the rest of the USA, journey distances stayed the same or drivers travelled shorter distances than usual;
  • Wednesday is the most popular ‘journey home’ day in the country, with a 20% increase in distance travelled for long journeys;
  • Pennsylvania to New Jersey was the most popular interstate journey on Thanksgiving, with 3% of all journeys ending in New Jersey having started in Pennsylvania;
  • A total of 6% of all New Jersey journeys were on interstate highways, compared with 0.5% of journeys in Georgia.

Data from the holiday period also revealed a Black Friday bonanza at electronics and furniture stores, with visits as much as doubling in some areas. Using Florida as an example, Wejo’s data analysis showed that on Black Friday:

  • Visits by shoppers to electronics stores almost doubled (85% increase) and visits to furniture stores increased by 55% as consumers sought special deals;
  • Conversely visits to stand-alone supermarkets fell 3%;
  • Malls saw a 25% increase in visitors and a 30% increase in dwell time, as consumers spent more time in stores and socializing;
  • Brick and mortar shopping habits die hard. There was no change in the distance people were prepared to drive to malls, and shoppers were not willing to spend longer than a usual Friday behind the wheel.

Wejo’s founder and CEO, Richard Barlow, said, “Mobility data from connected vehicles helps us to better understand the way people travel, allowing us to work with our partners to identify ways to make those journeys as frictionless as possible. This will improve the overall driving experience for everyone.”

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Adam joined the company in 1994, and has been News Editor of TTT since 2009. In his other role as Circulation Manager, he helped create the original Traffic Technology International distribution list 23 years ago, and has been working on it ever since. Outside of work, he is a keen fisherman, runs a drumming band, and plays an ancient version of cricket.