Ford to trial connected vehicle tech to predict traffic incidents

Digital road safety tool to use data from connected vehicles and roadside sensors

Ford to trial connected vehicle tech to predict traffic incidents

A consortium led by Ford is developing an innovative predictive road safety tool which, using data from connected vehicles and intelligent roadside sensors, aims to make travel in towns and cities safer and easier.

The data-driven system will analyse information from connected vehicles, smart roadside sensors and local-authority data to predict the likely locations and possible root causes of potential road safety hotspots.

The insights will enable cities to take pre-emptive action to address roads and junctions that pose the highest risks to road users.

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Jon Scott, project lead, 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 is working alongside partners including Oxfordshire County Council, AI sensor specialists Vivacity Labs, and leading academics from Loughborough University’s Transport Safety Research Centre, with support from Transport for London.

The initiative has now received financial backing from the Innovate UK, the government-backed innovation fund.

Data tracking

Up to 700 passenger and commercial vehicles will be voluntarily connected across Oxfordshire and London as part of the 18-month project starting this summer.

Detailed telematics data from the fleet of vehicles – such as brake or accelerator pedal usage and steering wheel angle – will be analysed alongside information from up to 25 additional smart sensors to be provided in Oxfordshire by Vivacity Labs a specialist in traffic capture and classification, bringing the total number in use up to 100.

Experts from the Transport Safety Research Centre at Loughborough University, led by Ruth Welsh, senior lecturer, Traffic Safety and Ford’s Global Data Insight and Analytics team will analyse driver and vehicle data, while Oxfordshire County Council will focus on how local authority-provided data sources combined with the predictive tool can improve road safety for all users.

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Llewelyn Morgan, head of innovation at Oxfordshire County Council said: “Oxfordshire County Council is committed to enabling innovative applications for connected vehicle technology that will benefit our communities.

“By connecting vehicle data with smart infrastructure, we hope this project will help improve safety for all road users.”

The insights and analysis will be used to further prove and develop the digital road safety algorithm and tool into a scalable, commercial product to benefit cities and citizens around the world. T

Connected vehicle trials

The project follows two successful trials in London in which analysts and data scientists from Ford Mobility sampled more than one million miles of driving by connected vehicles to identify, analyse and provide detailed safety mitigation guidance to local authorities on various road safety hotspots in Greater London.

Recommendations for improvements included the introduction of red-light cameras to deter signal jumping, cutting back vegetation to ensure road signage was clearly visible, double-height signage and signals, resurfacing carriageways and raising service covers.

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