With millions of connected vehicles on the nation’s roadways, Ford Motor Company plans to leverage connected vehicle event data — incidents and collisions — in order to help cities improve their infrastructures and better prioritize high-risk locations.
Specifically, the automaker is using its Safety Insights platform in collaboration with Streetlight Data to proactively arm cities with current information they need to make more informed decisions about how to realize safer streets for all road users.
Connected vehicle event data holds great promise because it can be obtained on a larger scale and in a timelier manner than crash data from police reports. For example, data in Ford’s Safety Insights tool is updated daily. That’s a big difference from reviewing police crash reports that may only be available to safety experts, planners and engineers a year or more after the crashes occur.
Since late 2020, Ford has been working with Michigan State University (MSU) on an ongoing research project to analyze existing connected vehicle event data, which captures insights around harsh acceleration, harsh braking, and harsh turns, against crash data from 2015–2019 in Southeast Michigan.
The findings are compelling, according to the automaker. For example, the teams found a statistically significant, strong positive correlation between harsh connected vehicle events and reported crash patterns, which when combined, can provide a more informed understanding of unsafe traffic patterns.
Simply put, Ford’s connected vehicle data initiative and the use of its Safety Insight platform can give city planners a more holistic picture of what’s actually happening on city streets. This means cities can be more proactive in building safer infrastructures.