How ‘Connected’ Vehicles Are Identifying ‘Hidden’ Dangers On UK Roads

Mon 9th Sep 2019

A major investigation of data from Ford’s connected car network is helping identify some of the key reasons why some roads and junctions are more dangerous than others.

Ford are trialling a scheme which analyses accident hotspots and reveals why drivers are most likely to demonstrate what is considered ‘risky’ behaviour.

The trial has focused on major traffic incident hotspots across London and has suggested simple improvements to roads and junctions to help make driving safer. 

Ford has worked with leading UKbased traffic management company Traffic Watch UK to analyse eight accident blackspots and identified some key concerns, including:

  • Traffic signal jumping by drivers and cyclists

  • Illegible road signs due to overgrown trees or incorrect orientation

  • Poor road surface conditions, including sunken service covers

  • Narrow lanes creating conflict between road users

“It is probably no coincidence that where Ford’s analysis identified harsh braking and steering, we also found evidence of traffic light offences and obscured road signs,” said Amanda Wickens, managing director, Traffic Watch UK, which assisted Ford with the analysis. “Without a doubt, there is a real opportunity for intelligent connected technology and vehicle data analysis to help reduce the occurrence of road incidents in the future.”

It is hoped that in the future, with more connected cars on the road providing more data information on accident hot-spots that problems could be identified earlier and changes made to save lives. The study in London collected more than 500 million different pieces of data from one million miles of driving.

The trial will now be extended to Valencia in Spain and Cologne in Germany.