Driving Me Auto

Nov 21, 2019

In the United States, more than 35,000 people die each year due to car crashes. Road crashes cost the U.S. $230.6 billion per year or an average of $820 per person. Most major intersections have cameras to view traffic, yet most of the cameras do not record traffic, as the cameras are simply used to view traffic in real time to report car accidents during rush hour. With the wide array of technology and data available, and the advancement of self-driving cars, data analytics can help reduce collisions and predict collision sites.

Big data can help decrease accidents by determining where the accidents most often occur. For example, the Tennessee Highway Patrol uses a software program known as Crash Reduction Analyzing Statistical History (CRASH), which analyzes data such as weather patterns, special event calendars, and businesses that sell alcohol to help predict places where accidents may occur and when they are most likely to happen. As these volatile areas are discovered, the highway patrol can dispatch troopers to those locations to better control traffic and keep people safe. While the CRASH program is new, the highway patrol say it has an accuracy rate of 72 percent and the number of traffic accident fatalities dropped by more than 5 percent, after the inclusion of this software.

Data analytics can also be useful in the advancement of self-driving cars. It is predicted that with more self-driving cars on the road, accidents will decrease by 90%. These automated cars can process the data of the surrounding environment, allowing the technology in the cars to predict the chances of an accident, before a human driver can react. While some may criticize self-driving car companies like Google, since the company’s cars have been in 11 accidents, Google defends its cars stating the accidents were the fault of the other human drivers. Since these automated cars use data to prevent crashes, if both cars were automated, the likelihood of crashes overall can be greatly reduced. Over the course of six years, Google has a record of nearly one million miles driven by the company’s self-driving cars. As previously stated, autonomous vehicles can reduce car crashes by up to 90% and overall reduce the annual costs of car crashes which is currently at $871 billion in the US alone. Additionally, this can also reduce healthcare costs by up to $190 billion.

There are endless opportunities for data analytics to continue to improve traffic safety standards. The use of data points that can help predict a collision can help states improve traffic safety standards and decrease collisions and fatalities.