4 Ways How Big Data Will Improve Road Safety
With over 40,000 deaths each year coming from traffic-related collisions and accidents, it's a clear sign that improving road safety is a top priority across the nation. Advances in technology are helping reduce accidents and improving overall driver safety through a variety of methods. Here are the top 4 ways that technology will help improve road safety in the coming years.
#1 Data Collection
Along with computer controlled vehicles, data collection is vital to ensuring that we understand where and why accidents happen. The black box technology that has been famously used to track airplanes and help identify the cause of crashes is now being used in other vehicles. Black box technology is fairly simple, inexpensive, and easy to deploy on a wide scale of cars.
The benefits of the technology are we will be able to track the exact time, speeds, position, and other factors related to car collisions and accidents. As this data is studied, we will be able to better understand trends and reasons behind car crashes and use this data to prevent future incidents. South Korea was the first country to deploy black box technology in their taxi services and immediately noticed a 14 percent decrease in traffic accidents the following year. The death toll and injury rate associated with traffic accidents also decreased by as much as 20 percent.
#2 Smart Cars
We've all seen videos or clips of fancy self-driving cars and other computer controlled driving systems. While many of these features are still limited to high end and expensive vehicles, the technology behind them is spreading across the industry and will soon be available to a larger customer base. Smart cars use a multitude of sensors and software to steer vehicles away from other objects on the road as well as control speed and braking with response times faster than we humans can achieve.
Smart cars are actually able to stop faster, turn quicker, and stay 100% aware of their surroundings at all times. Some of the latest safety crash ratings put smart cars on the top of their lists. As this technology becomes more prominent, we will see smart cars being used everywhere from taxi services, large freight delivery, and of course everyday passenger or commuter use.
#3 Advanced Apps
Aside from hardware and physical technologies being added to motor vehicles, software such as phone applications is a valuable tool to help improve road safety. Many advanced applications such as GPS navigation and traffic monitoring software can help to warn drivers of oncoming danger or potential hazards. Alerting drivers to weather, road, and traffic conditions will help to prevent accidents. Other applications include towing software which will help commercial operators calculate loads and manage their fleets more accurately. As commercial vehicles make up a large percent of the traffic on the road, improvements to their systems will have a significant impact on overall vehicle collisions.
#4 Reduce Driver Distraction
Driver distraction is one of the major causes of car accidents. Distractions can be a small as changing a radio station or as large as taking a call or other multitasking behind the wheel. Phone applications are currently being tested that are designed to automatically disable calls while the vehicle is in motion to help reduce driver distraction. More physical technologies are also in the works that will prevent vehicles from being operated or otherwise limit functions if there are signs that the driver is not paying attention.
Transportation is a vital part of society and our everyday lives, so making sure that our roads are safe is a top priority. Advances in technology such as phone apps, black boxes, and smart cars are all designed to take the human error factor out of driving and should help to improve overall road safety.