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Ford reveals how big data could help make cities safer and fleets more efficient

Ford reveals how big data could help make cities safer and fleets more efficient

Ford has developed a smart solution that could help to identify where traffic incidents are likely to occur enabling city authorities to take pre-emptive action and how fleets could become more efficient by, for example, rescheduling.

The company analysed vehicle behaviour in London by recording data of driving events such as braking and use of hazard warning lights; together with road crash reports.

The findings were among insights revealed in the new interactive Ford City Data Report, launched to show how the company could help to make travelling in cities easier and safer.

Ford Smart Mobility spent the last year recording one million kilometres of vehicle and driver behaviour in and around London travelled in a fleet of 160 connected vans. The data captured was from the equivalent of more than 15,000 days of vehicle use.

The company tracked vehicle journeys in the city and logged highly detailed driving data. Ford then cross-referenced that information against existing crash reports and built an algorithm to determine the likelihood of where future incidents might occur.

Ford said it was committed to delivering smart vehicles for a smart world - and each vehicle in the study was equipped with a plug-in device that recorded the journey data and then sent it to the cloud for analysis.

Data scientists from Ford’s Global Data Insight and Analytics team were then able to analyse the information through an interactive dashboard. The technology, said Ford, could be applied in any road environment, not just in cities.

“We believe our insights have the potential to benefit millions of people. Even very small changes could make a big difference - maybe cutting back a tree that has obscured a road sign - whether in terms of traffic flow, road safety or efficiency,” said Jon Scott, project lead at City Data Solutions, Ford Smart Mobility.

The report also investigated other opportunities, such as how scheduling delivery van journeys for earlier in the day, before peak times, could benefit all road users, and how using journey data could help to identify the best locations for electric vehicle charging points.

“The Ford City Data Report is a showcase of what we at Ford can do with connected vehicle data, smart infrastructure, and our analytical capabilities. We are calling on cities to work with us to collectively solve problems that they can become even better places to live and work in,” said Sarah-Jayne Williams, director, Ford Smart Mobility, Ford of Europe.