American car maker Ford has developed a data-driven solution that could help to identify where traffic collisions are likely to happen – allowing local authorities to fix problems areas before an accident occurs, rather than after.
Last year, Ford Smart Mobility collected 500 million data points from 160 vans in London, travelling across one million kilometers, throughout 15,000 collective days of vehicle use. The participating vans were equipped with a simple plug-in device; highly detailed parameters that recorded vehicle and driver data such as braking severity and application of hazard lights. This information was then sent to the cloud for analysis.
Outlined in the new Ford City Data Report, scientists from Ford’s Global Data Insight and Analytics team combined this vehicle data with smart algorithms and existing accident reports, identifying likely road safety hotspots where incidents may occur. Councils will then be able to take pre-emptive steps to ensure would-be accidents are avoided.
Jon Scott, project lead at City Data Solutions, Ford Smart Mobility, said: “We believe our insights have the potential to benefit millions of people. Even very small changes could make a big difference – maybe cutting back a tree that has obscured a road sign – whether in terms of traffic flow, road safety or efficiency.”