Executive’s Guide to Connected Mobility and Public Safety

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Connected mobility is one of the fastest growing sectors of the automotive industry: the connected car market is expected to reach $160 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 25.2 percent. Nearly all major car companies offer some form of connected services in their vehicles, whether it’s driver assists, advanced telematics systems, or automatic crash notifications.

Combined with autonomous driving, electric cars, and ride-sharing, IoT advancements are making our roads cleaner, more efficient, and above all else, safer. However, for all the technological advances, there is still a disconnect between connected cars and the public safety infrastructure. And there’s a market incentive to close that gap to provide drivers and the public at large with safety features that connect cars on the road to first responders.

In this post, we’ll explore everything executives need to know about working with public safety.

Executive’s Guide to Connected Mobility:  The business value of improving safety

As our collective relationship with transportation evolves, in light of climate change, expectations for safety, and improving technology, connected mobility technology is taking the lead on changing our world. Connected vehicle platforms and connected mobility services are helping keep drivers and commuters safe around the world. 

Early warning systems, automatic braking, and autonomous driving are some of the innovations protecting drivers on the road. Ride-sharing, car and scooter sharing, and even pedestrian-friendly cities are offering safe and efficient alternatives as well.

Many of these solutions are powered by tech that your company may be developing. Telematics companies like Sirius XM Connected Vehicle Services are giving drivers a safer, data-driven experience while simultaneously powering the smart cities of tomorrow. Uber and other ride-share services are innovating on new ways to protect their users with connected vehicle data, whether they’re driving or hailing to get
from A to B.

These features aren’t just a value-add, they’re meeting and exceeding consumer’s expectations for safety. Auto accidents are frequent, inevitable, and potentially life-changing: approximately 1.35 million people die from auto accidents annually.

As many as 93% of drivers are interested in new services based on connected car data that lead to faster response times in the event of an accident. Therefore, manufacturers, technology companies, and connected vehicle platforms all have an incentive to improve safety, especially at the point of impact. As much as connected vehicle technology prevents accidents from occurring, they also can help save lives when the inevitable strikes.

Protecting people at the point of impact

There are a variety of ways connected vehicles are protecting people during accidents. V2X communications are improving the ways forward collision warning, emergency electronic brake light, and crash notification systems work. 5G automotive technology is getting data in and out of control units quicker and at larger volumes than ever before, shepherding along advanced telematics and crash monitoring systems. 

Structural improvements blind spot warnings, do not pass warnings, and even left turn/parking assists are automating and assisting drivers in the most dangerous aspects of actually driving. But what about what happens when a crash happens? Connected mobility platforms can’t quite break out the jaws of life yet, so what can all that data do?

Connected vehicle data can materially improve emergency outcomes by helping first responders get on scene faster.

By sharing telemetry data with first responders when an accident occurs, connected vehicles can significantly reduce response times while empowering data-driven emergency response, which will be more effective and efficient. 

Much like eCall in the EU helps first responders locate car accidents faster than from a phone call alone, sharing data can help first responders locate, assess the severity, and dispatch the appropriate care to emergencies in record time. As it stands now, studies show that up to 13 percent of vehicular fatalities could be prevented if EMS response time was faster. For every additional minute it takes for EMS and police to get on scene, the mortality rate rises exponentially. 

Sharing data to accelerate response is a no-brainer way to improve safety at the point of impact, and is indeed the future of connected vehicle platforms. That being said, breaking into the world of public safety is no easy feat.

Connected mobility and the emergency response system

Since road safety and emergency response are inextricably linked around the world, it’s crucial for executives to understand the ins and outs of the emergency response infrastructure. Around the world, most 911/112 systems rely on phone calls to communicate emergencies. It’s how emergency response centers receive requests for service, coordinate and dispatch police, fire, and EMS, and manage emergencies. 

Depending on where you are in the world, this system can resemble something like countywide or citywide public safety answering points that manage calls for a jurisdiction, or a single regional response center that coordinates everything with individual departments. It’s a system that was built around the phone call, and the telecommunicators answering calls and the providers responding to them can only access what’s shared during that call.

That means that emergency response is in many ways reliant on the caller’s ability to articulate their emergency, share their location, and stay calm through whatever might be happening to them. In the case of a car accident, that can often involve a bystander doing their best to interpret events amid the chaos. 

If that sounds inefficient to you, that’s because it is: we rely on the ability of our first responders to get there anyway, and perform their jobs to the best of their ability, despite the limitations of the system. But that system prevents them from being able to do their jobs as well as they could, and prevents us from being as protected as we should be.

In a perfect world, we could just share a dataset with local agencies immediately. Unfortunately there is so much back-end infrastructure to understand, so many different stakeholders and bureaucracies to navigate, and so much antiquated technology to overcome that it almost seems impossible to do on your own.

That doesn’t mean saving lives at the point of impact isn’t a worthy cause to pursue, but it does mean that a little know-how can go a long way.

How to get your data to public safety agencies

If there’s one thing we know, it’s that first responders want and need this data to help save lives. However, they need it in a form that’s actionable to them, without needing another app on their phones or window on their screens. Fitting data into existing workflows is crucial to actually delivering on the promise to protect people.

Connecting your data through an emergency response data platform is an excellent way to circumnavigate all of the hurdles we outlined above. It puts connected vehicle data onto the screens of first responders in a form that’s useful to them in emergencies. This data can include:

  • GPS location data
  • Airbag and rollover data
  • Driver and passenger profiles
  • Medical information
  • Telemetry data
  • …and more

Sharing data with public safety agencies also enables your connected vehicle company to build a relationship with first responders, in other words, the people who will be there when your customers need help the most. It’s a way to integrate your brand into your customer’s lifestyles by protecting what they care about the most, while ensuring your brand is viewed positively in the life-altering event of a car accident.

Working with first responders can humanize your technology, and give your customers the peace of mind knowing their data will help protect them in emergencies. To learn more about how telematics is changing the way public safety agencies respond to auto accidents, check out our Ebook, Telematics and Public Safety.