Ford is testing road safety tool to help cars predict traffic, prevent accidents
Connected cars provide carmakers with loads of data that can be used wisely to improve driving conditions anywhere. Ford Mobility is testing out one such benefit - to predict traffic situation and prevent accidents as well.
In London, Ford Mobility has fitted 160 commercial vehicles in and around the city with smart on-board computers. The company then spent 12 months recording over 1 million kilometres worth of vehicle and driver behaviour data. Its vision was to demonstrate the power of vehicle data, and to show its potential as an accurate and effective tool for mitigating the traffic challenges, and improving air quality and safety in cities.
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This trial will also be undertaken in other cities like Valencia in Spain and Cologne in Germany later o.
Ford Mobility used connected vehicle data, including vehicle location, acceleration, braking, and even whether the hazard lights were on, to analyse for a cross section of vans in the city. The plug-in devices monitored and recorded a range of granular data points from the vehicles that helped to build actionable insights. This data was then combined with other data, such as accident and traffic information, to help the company understand some of the most complex challenges.
Armed with 15,000 days of vehicle operation and 500 million data records, Ford Mobility was able to identify specific pressure points on a city’s roads, see where and when traffic was at its worst, locate traffic incident hotspots and even attempt to predict where an incident might occur. It also helped identify the locations where an electric vehicle charging point would be the most beneficial to people.
Jon Scott, Project Lead for City Insights at 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."
Ford Mobility believes that this technology will help cities model and optimise traffic planning and provide a predictive tool to identify locations where there’s an opportunity to reduce the risk of a traffic incident, helping cities on the road to zero casualties.