Smart and electric vehicles are making the roads safer, but driving remains an inherently dangerous mode of transport. According to the CDC, road traffic accidents remain a leading cause of fatality for people aged 1-54 in the USA , with the span of that demographic showing the huge reach of the problem. As a result, car tech innovation is pointed firmly towards making the road the safest form of travel . A few key technological trends are paving the way for this development.

Smart telemetrics

The use of smart data in vehicles is the leading beacon in improved road safety. Black boxes and similar devices have been a feature of motoring for years, and a study conducted by British driver’s association the RAC found that 60% of drivers said black boxes made them drive safer . There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, the black box and its ilk can create, using smart tech, a fail safe algorithm that shows the quality of a driver, leading to reduced insurance premiums. Secondly, having empirical data available for any form of conflict resolution means that where tragedy on the road does occur, wrongful death lawyers have all of the information they need to make a fair resolution. In that way, the recording of in depth driving data provides a psychological impetus to drive safer.

Data into tools

One of the goals of many auto industry tech firms is to make vehicle-to-vehicle communication a standard. This will require the free use of data between vehicles, and so the quality of the data will be crucial. As outlined by Extreme Tech, what this means is that vehicles can preemptively warn others of issues on the road — whether that be an accident, incoming mechanical failures, or traffic. This in turn will lead to less accidents, safer driving and indeed more enjoyable roads, less congested by traffic.

An automated future

All of these technologies lead into full automation. The single biggest risk behind the wheel is the driver; take the driver out of the equation, or at least away from decision making, and if the data is there so too will be the safety. The effect of this could be so pronounced that it will save 350,000 lives a year on roads globally, according to ZDNet.

What this points towards is a simple principle – data, and the smart application of it, will make the roads safer. As innovators grapple with privacy laws and come up with an ethical way to use data within those regulatory frameworks, they will make the roads safer. Ultimately, this goal will be achieved by removing the driver from the decision making process altogether.