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Data Driven Mobility paving the way to Safer Roads

“OCTO Insight Radar Observatory

1.     Road Safety: a global challenge

Every year, millions of lives are lost, and countless individuals are injured on roads worldwide, posing a significant threat to public health and sustainable development, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Recognizing this urgent issue, United Nations institutions have published the Global Road Safety Plan for 2021-2030, which prioritizes safety as a crucial part of modern transportation systems.

The Global Road Safety Plan for the period 2021-2030 aims to revolutionize transportation systems and reduce road accident fatalities and injuries by 50%. This ambitious endeavor highlights the critical importance of reimagining and optimizing transportation infrastructure and practices to ensure safer roads for all.

In various regions, local initiatives address specific challenges. In Latin America and the Caribbean, for instance, road accidents present a significant public health challenge, resulting in approximately 110,000 fatalities and over 5 million injuries annually. Beyond the human toll, these incidents have large economic ramifications, estimated to cost the region between 3 to 5 percent of its gross domestic product. Many accidents stem from unsafe behaviours such as distracted driving, speeding, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Consequently, the Inter-American Development Bank has aligned with the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030, committing to invest in initiatives aimed at reducing road crashes in the region.

Within the European Union (EU), emphasis is placed not only on preventive measures against crashes but also on post-impact interventions crucial for mitigating the aftermath for victims. Post-impact care, as outlined by the European Commission (2022b), encompasses a range of measures and emergency systems, such as the eCall (Emergency Call) integrated into vehicles across the EU. The eCall system automatically contacts the European emergency number upon detecting a crash in real-time, providing vital information to aid those affected by the incident.

In the United States, the National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS) outlines a vision of zero roadway deaths and provides concrete actions to decrease annual fatalities. Adopting the Safe System Approach, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) acknowledges human error and emphasizes five elements: Safer People, Safer Roads, Safer Vehicles, Safer Speeds, and Post-Crash Care. Collaborative efforts across government sectors, public and private sectors, advocacy groups, and research are essential for implementing the NRSS and promoting shared responsibility, proactive safety measures, and redundancy within the transportation system.

Overall, considerable progress can be achieved by fostering collaboration among primary stakeholders in mobility as for example fleet companies, cities, insurers, drivers and technology providers. By harnessing technological advancements, expertise and implementing innovative processes, a positive feedback loop can be set up, prioritizing road safety as vital for society while addressing key goals for the business companies.

2.     Unifying Perspectives in the Connected Mobility Ecosystem

With a shared goals to have a more sustainable mobility, Cities, insurance companies, and fleet managers all face the challenge of balancing multiple interconnected objectives, impacting vehicles, drivers, economic sustainability, and societal expectations for a more comfortable environment.

Adopting a unified perspective and creating a mobility ecosystem can highlight synergies among these goals, with a central focus on road safety.

Telematics and connected vehicles facilitate the implementation of many initiatives for driver safety, yielding positive effects across all the intertwined goals.

For fleet companies, these initiatives include reducing total cost of ownership (TCO), enhancing operational efficiency, fulfilling duty of care obligations, and transitioning towards eco-friendly practices.

When assessing Total Cost of Ownership, AI applied to connected vehicle data plays a crucial role in evaluating vehicle residual value and providing data-driven insights for defining a “used vehicle scorecard.” Additionally, it ensures energy efficiency and maintenance, minimizes fleet idle time, and enables better operational planning for drivers. Addressing significant pain points and providing valuable protection against driver accident risks also alleviates insurance costs, enhancing overall fleet management safety.

When it comes to driver, delving into the cognitive and social factors that shape behaviour behind the wheel offers valuable insights for crafting effective interventions and strategies to improve road safety. The insights gleaned from connected drivers further bolster the efficacy of behavioural science.

A connected driver serves as the catalyst for mobility transformation:

  • While driving, data is collected about their habits and behaviour.
  • Awareness is raised through collected facts and coaching tips, prompting action.
  • Gamification of challenges leverages social sharing and the digital attitudes of the consumer market, starting a virtuous circle to improve driving styles for both individuals and their surroundings.

Usage-based Insurance (UBI) has demonstrated significant efficacy by monitoring driving patterns and implementing a cycle of awareness, coaching, and improvement of the driving style. Through connected user engagement, UBI has the potential to enact substantial changes in road risk reduction. This includes fostering incremental enhancements in mobility, promoting safer and greener driving practices, which extend beyond the insurance market’s objectives.

3.   Road Safety at the core of the ESG for Mobility

These advancements contribute to broader goals such as improved road safety, reduced pollution and congestion, and minimized injuries through prompt emergency assistance during accidents and other hazardous situations.

The lesson learned in the insurance market brings immediate benefits to the fleet business thanks to:

  • Reduction in the insurance premium (20%) due to improved driving style and reduction in claims frequency
  • Protect against cloned licences and plates, or wrongly attributed violations of the road code. 
  • Reducing maintenance costs by 25% and idle time by 30% through regular planned maintenance and continuous vehicle health monitoring.
  • Lowering driven miles by 8% through monitoring current and historical vehicle localization and trip records.

Data – collected, processed and made actionable through the use of AI and Machine Learning Technologies – is the key factor in implementing the intertwined goals with measurable data driven facts which bring beneficial effects also in the cities.

Telematics and interconnected vehicle technologies serve as catalysts for implementing a myriad of driver safety initiatives. These technologies facilitate measurement and improvement, aligning seamlessly with frameworks like ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) used to evaluate organizational practices.

Incorporating sustainable development practices into daily operations and offerings is essential for organizational success, with drivers playing a pivotal role in this transformative journey.

Road-safety-related advantages begin at low telematics-adoption rates (20%percent or less) and tend to increase more rapidly as rates grow. As technologies are running fast and we are facing global issues all together, we consider as the highest value the capability to share the experiences and lessons learned that can make the ecosystem grow within a win-win paradigm where technologies are tools in the hands of save people. 

Author: Tina MartinoOCTO

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