Can Better Data Make Zero Traffic Deaths a Reality?

Data-Smart City Solutions
October 19, 2017

“Recent advances in Vision Zero analysis have sought to use information on driver behavior—ranging from cellphone use to hard braking—in order to improve traffic safety. As human error is responsible for around 90 percent of traffic accidents, analyzing and preventing risky behaviors is a logical next step for improving safety.

The City of Boston capitalized on this opportunity by launching the Boston Safest Driver Competition, which ran from fall of 2016 until early 2017. For the competition, the city released a free mobile application—developed via a partnership between Boston’s Vision Zero Task Force, the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics (MONUM), and data sensing company Cambridge Mobile Telematics—that provided drivers with feedback based on acceleration, braking, cornering, and phone distraction. The app scored drivers between 0 and 100 based on their performance and each week, the city gave prizes to the top drivers, the most improved, new app users, and people who took car-free trips, and then awarded a grand prize at the end of the competition. In order to participate, all residents had to do was download the app and start driving.”

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