Big Data’s Role in Making Driving Safer

Big Data’s Role in Making Driving Safer

Guest Post by: John McMalcolm

photo for Karen 1215 (2)Big data analytics is now being adopted at a rapid rate across every industry.

This technology is an invaluable tool that enables organizations to gain new insights from their data, so that they can make better informed decisions. It can be used in many ways to improve people’s lives, including enhancing safety on the road.

Traffic authorities, auto manufacturers, auto insurers, transport companies and other organizations have developed and implemented a wide range of big data solutions to reduce the occurrence of traffic collisions.

Here is a look at some of the ways big data is being used to improve road safety….

Optimizing Delivery Routes

The largest package shipping company in the world, United Parcel Service (UPS), has developed a new route guidance system that uses big data to save time and money, and reduce the risk of collisions.

The On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation (Orion) system was introduced to 10,000 UPS drivers in the U.S. in 2013, and it is regarded as the company’s greatest technological advancement in 10 years. This system uses electronic information that is collected from customers, vehicles and handheld devices carried by drivers to craft optimal delivery routes.

Since they know the exact directions to their destinations, UPS drivers will be less prone to making mistakes while they are driving, which can significantly reduce their chances of getting involved in a collision.

Tracking Driving Habits

Major auto insurance providers, such as Allstate, Progressive and State Farm, have developed big data analytics solutions to monitor their customers’ driving habits.

Data is gathered from small devices that are installed in vehicles, and the presence of these devices will cause drivers to make a conscious effort to drive safely.

Customers who allow the devices to be installed in their vehicles and are able to prove that they are safe drivers will be eligible for auto insurance discounts.

Some of the safe driving practices that can lead to lower insurance rates include careful driving during “risky” hours, going easy on the gas pedal and brakes, limited long-haul trips and others.

Enabling Data Exchange Among Cars

According to an article entitled “Is Your Big Data Going to Waste?” many organizations have not been able to get maximum results from their big data projects.

Big data analytics is still an immature technology, but it is expected to open up many new possibilities in the future.

Research scientists from Intel, Ford and other companies are presently working on connected-vehicle technologies that can warn drivers of potential traffic hazards.

These technologies enable drivers to know the positions and speeds of vehicles that are in front of, behind and beside them, so that they can take the appropriate measures to avoid collisions.

Big data analytics has been proven to be an effective tool for enhancing road safety, and it is now being used for this purpose in many countries around the world.

As this technology becomes more advanced, it will make driving even safer in the future.

Photo credit: Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at
About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from social media marketing to highway safety.

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