Road safety attracts smart devices and Big Data

The French governmental Road Safety administration is celebrating its 45th birthday this year. Now more than ever before, reducing road related deaths is a major concern for both citizens and local councils alike.

There have been signs of improvement over the last ten years, with the road death rate steadily decreasing from 4,942 deaths in 2006 to 3,469 in 2016. This can partly be explained by a positive change in on-road behaviour and increased intervention from the French Home Office. But car manufacturers are also having a positive impact. With features such as emergency braking assistance, ESP, and run-off road protection, manufacturers are offering safer, more autonomous vehicles that are able to take over when the driver is confronted with multiple distractions on the road.

This is an even bigger concern amongst start-ups, and many are offering solutions combining Big Data and smart devices for improving safety for all.

Smart devices and Big Data for safer behaviour

Road safety can be split into two parts; the driver and their surroundings. Taking this into account, three start-ups have designed devices which react according to the driver’s behaviour.

For the two-wheeled enthusiasts, Liberty Rider and accessory Cosmo Connected have been designed with them in mind. Liberty Rider is the first ever fall-detection app that will automatically contact emergency services. With the accelerometer integrated into the smartphone, the app will follow the driver’s movements and is able to inform them of any potential dangers in their driving. If the eventual fall is unavoidable, the app can even preempt the incident and trigger a call to the closest emergency services in the area, therefore reducing the arrival time and harm to the driver.

Cosmo Connected, showcased at CES 2017, is a small brake light that can be fitted on the back of  the rider’s helmet. Able to detect when the rider slows down, it will light up at the same time as the bike’s brake light, improving the rider’s visibility on the road. Its connected app can also contact emergency response in case of an accident. Thanks to an integrated gyroscope, the system is able to detect a fall and also to speak to the rider. If the rider doesn’t respond, it will contact emergency services. Through GPS and storing the rider’s vital information (emergency contacts, blood type, allergies, etc.), the device can provide any information needed by medics in any emergency situation.

For car drivers, Ellis Car will help them control their driving habits thanks to its behaviour detector. The app gathers and processes all driving data then sends a detailed analysis of the driver’s behaviour. The Data can be used for safety purposes.

Big Data and IoT for monitoring the vehicle and its environment

The Liberty Rider app is only useful when an accident occurs, as it collects its users’ data to establish high risk profiles and, above all, the most dangerous roads. Thanks to the use of Big Data, the app helps motorcyclists to make a more informed choice with regard to their behaviour or their journey.

Conversely, the connected box Akolyt and its app are focused on the vehicle itself. Like a mini car service, it will look at maintenance, usage, position as well as diagnosing any potential problems. Thanks to this last function, the app can warn the driver if the vehicle is showing signs of failure. Its light-hearted interface makes it easy to understand and detect any problems. With regard to maintenance, the app will send alerts to the car owner so he or she can carry out regular checks. Real-time advice also gives additional information to the driver regarding accelerator pressure, anticipation, and the gear shift.

Smart devices and Big Data are the ideal solution for improving behaviour, vehicles and road journeys. However, they are both extremely useful for the environment. Whilst apps such as Ellis Car and Akolyt help drivers to improve their driving and, therefore, use less fuel, there are now many apps that are focused on carbon footprint reduction, such as Worldbeing for instance. The emergence of new smart devices for drivers will be as much as for safety reasons as for the environment surrounding us.

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