Driven by information01 Oct 2020

Securing the benefits from connected vehicles

Everyday technology already installed in vehicles or added by drivers could enable a range of connected services to be developed and deployed, making driving smoother and safer and traffic management more efficient and effective, but only if gaps in the chain between data generation, collection and ultimately data use are plugged.

Dashcams, black-box insurance products, smartphone apps and satnavs all generate huge volumes of data, but the key to making the most of that data lies in getting it, appropriately processed, into the hands of those taking the decisions, be they the drivers of vehicles or those responsible for designing and managing traffic control systems. This is an institutional rather than a technological issue, with the challenge of developing a compelling business model to get the right people in the right places with the right skills to maximise the value of the data coming through.

In a report for the RAC Foundation, Andy Graham of White Willow Consulting looks at four examples where data is collected and shared through connectivity:

  • In-Vehicle Signage (IVS) – displaying road signs and warnings to the driver inside the vehicle;
  • Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory (GLOSA) – which tells drivers what speed to adopt to pass through the next set of traffic lights on green;
  • using vehicle data to improve road maintenance; and
  • using vehicle data to improve traffic light timings.


Andy concludes that in each instance there is potential for wide benefits to be achieved, but action will be needed to fill a set of current gaps in the delivery chain without which that potential will not be realised.

In the report – Driven by information: Securing the benefits from connected vehicles – Andy says there is a risk of allowing the best to become the enemy of the good. He also shows that there is potential to bring forward the benefits of connectivity by focusing on specific applications and specific locations, rather than trying to develop a universal high tech solution: “early services need simply to be ‘good enough’ to make ‘enough roads’ better.”