Vision Zero Network was pleased to team with Ford Safety Insights program on a webinar highlighting new solutions helping transportation practitioners transition safety planning and analysis from a reactive to proactive approach. Employing a data-driven approach using a tool like Safety Insights can help save communities time, money and, most importantly, lives.
Cal Coplai, an urban planner and data scientist who oversees the Safety Insights effort, presented on the new tools (currently in a “beta” stage but beginning to expand) as an important component of Ford’s effort to think more holistically about the transportation system, recognizing the massive evolution in the systems and the need to better prioritize safety, equity and accessibility in mobility efforts.
Coplai introduced the new solution, which combine traditional and novel datasets, including crash, IoT, connected vehicle, and roadway data. Recognizing that traffic safety planning and management has traditionally been more reactive, looking at past “hot spots” of trouble, the Safety Insights tools aim to help communities be more predictive and proactive in their work, identifying emerging areas of concern from events like harsh braking before serious crashes occur. As Coplai explains, the goal is “helping turn the inevitable into the preventable.”
Goals also include being able to better predict the impacts of safety countermeasure investments, before funds and efforts are spent, as well as more fully analyzing entire systems, not just hot spot locations.
Safety Insights is still evolving, and Coplai encouraged interested listeners to reach out with specific suggestions to enhance the tool’s value. They’re also beginning conversations with interested agencies to expand use of the tool, so please reach out if you'd like to learn more.