Up to 700 passenger and commercial vehicles will be voluntarily connected across Oxfordshire and London over 18 months.

Ford is leading a consortium that is developing a new road safety tool that could make roads in towns and cities safer than ever.

Using data from connected vehicles and intelligent roadside sensors, the new Data-Driven Road Safety Tool will analyse everything from smart vehicles, roadside data, and information from local authorities to predict dangerous locations and help identify causes of road safety issues which could help areas to address the areas most in need of attention.

Ford Mobility is working alongside Oxfordshire County Council, AI sensor specialists Vivacity Labs, leading academics from Loughborough University’s Transport Safety Research Centre, and Transport for London on the project which aims to develop the tool for towns and cities all over the world. It has already received financial backing from the Innovate UK, the government-backed innovation fund, too.

Ford trials tech in UK to help foresee traffic incidents

"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," said Jon Scott, project lead, City Insights, Ford Mobility, Europe. "By collaborating with leading innovators, experts and academics – and with the backing of Innovate UK – we truly believe we can help improve mobility for millions around the world."

Following two successful trials in London, 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 using predictive analysis to improve road safety.

The vehicles in the study will have a number of parameters monitored with censors, including brake and accelerator pedal usage and steering wheel angle. This data will be analysed with data from up to 25 additional sensors in Oxfordshire, provided by Vivacity Labs.

The driver data will be analysed by 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. Meanwhile Oxfordshire County Council will look at the data from the authority-provided sensors

"Oxfordshire County Council is committed to enabling innovative applications for connected vehicle technology that will benefit our communities," said Llewelyn Morgan, head of innovation, Oxfordshire County Council. “By connecting vehicle data with smart infrastructure, we hope this project will help improve safety for all road users."