A consortium led by Ford Mobility is developing a new predictive road safety tool that uses connected infrastructure and vehicle data.
The Data-Driven Road Safety Tool will analyse information from connected vehicles, smart roadside sensors and local-authority data to predict the likely locations and possible root causes of potential road safety hotspots.
Up to 700 passenger and commercial vehicles will be voluntarily connected across Oxfordshire and London as part of the 18-month project starting this summer.
The insights will be used to help cities to take pre-emptive action to address roads and junctions that pose the highest risks to road users.
Jon Scott, project lead, city insights, Ford Mobility, Europe, said: “Soon every new vehicle will be a connected vehicle, and we see this as an opportunity to reduce road traffic incidents and save lives in a significant way.
“By collaborating with leading innovators, experts and academics – and with the backing of Innovate U.K.– we truly believe we can help improve mobility for millions around the world.”
Ford Mobility is working alongside partners including Oxfordshire County Council, AI sensor specialists Vivacity Labs, and leading academics from Loughborough University’s Transport Safety Research Centre, with support from Transport for London (TfL).
The initiative has now received financial backing from the Innovate UK, the government-backed innovation fund.
Data-driven road safety
Detailed telematics data from the vehicles involved in the trial – such as brake or accelerator pedal usage and steering wheel angle – will be analysed alongside information from
Experts from the Transport Safety Research Centre at Loughborough University, led by Ruth Welsh, senior lecturer, Traffic Safety and Ford’s Global Data Insight and Analytics team will analyse driver and vehicle data, while Oxfordshire County Council will focus on how local authority-provided data sources combined with the predictive tool can improve road safety for all users.
Llewelyn Morgan, head of innovation, Oxfordshire County Council, said: “Oxfordshire County Council is committed to enabling innovative applications for connected vehicle technology that will benefit our communities.
“By connecting vehicle data with smart infrastructure, we hope this project will help improve safety for all road users.”
The insights and analysis will be used to further prove and develop the digital road safety algorithm and tool into a scalable, commercial product to benefit cities and citizens around the world.
The consortium will also seek to uncover further real-world applications for predictive road safety-related insights.
The project follows two successful trials in London in which analysts and data scientists from Ford Mobility sampled more than one million miles of driving by connected vehicles to identify, analyse and provide detailed safety mitigation guidance to local authorities on various road safety hotspots in Greater London.
Recommendations for improvements included the introduction of red-light cameras to deter signal jumping, cutting back vegetation to ensure road signage was clearly visible, double-height signage and signals, resurfacing carriageways and raising service covers.
Ford Mobility is also working with authorities in Cologne, Germany, and Valencia, Spain, to identify further ways in which analysis of information connected vehicles and infrastructure can benefit urban mobility.
Vehicle owners in Oxfordshire and London who wish to find out more about participating in the road safety trial can contact the project team at https://takepartinresearch.co.uk/jobs/future-driving-solutions.