Introducing Smart24 Collision Response

*This introduction to Smart24 Collision Response is the first of series of posts: we’ll have a lot more to say about this soon.

We’re excited to announce the addition of our new Collision Response feature to our Smart24 personal safety app. This is a new way of providing safety to all passengers and drivers while on the road.

Helping drivers and passengers stay safe while driving has always been an important component of our work at Track24. If you’re familiar with what we do, you’ll already know of our efforts to solve problems related to driver and fleet safety.  

Through the combination of customised hardware and our software—like our Jackal and DriveSafe score—we have a proven track record providing driver safety technology in remote regions with weaker communications infrastructure.

Road safety is a concern in many other scenarios than these, and for many other people. Drivers, passengers, and vulnerable road users (like motorcyclists and pedestrians), are at a higher risk of road traffic accidents in countries where there has been less public investment in transport infrastructure and safety.

The World Health Organization has tirelessly campaigned and reported on this issue, and their road traffic injuries fact sheet provides a sobering read. Some of their data is illustrated in our graphic above.

Protecting the person, not just the vehicle

Integrating safety equipment directly into vehicles has a useful role to play, both when vehicles are a scarce resource shared by many drivers, or when vehicles are required to roam into remote or dangerous areas with limited mobile network coverage.

Common examples are an Iridium satellite network antenna for communication and an Emergency Button for calling for help.

But what about other types of journeys, where you’re the passenger of a vehicle like a taxi, or the driver of a hire car or motorcycle in a more urban setting?

In other words, what if we could help protect drivers and passengers for almost all journeys in all vehicles, not just those using shared vehicles with equipment installed?

Thanks to the fact that smartphone sensors now provide cleaner and more accurate data than many ‘telematics’ hardware devices, this is now possible.


Collision Response on Smart24

Collision Response is the first feature that we’re including in our iOS and Android personal safety app, Smart24, that specifically addresses the risks faced by passengers and drivers. We are also proud to announce our partnership with Zendrive, bringing you their state of the art iOS and Android driver safety software development kit and trip analytics, now integrated amongst all the existing safety features of Smart24.

Collision Response works by Smart24 monitoring the built-in motion sensors of your phone when you are driving. If it detects the signature of a serious impact, the app will automatically send out an alert to your monitoring team. They will receive SMS, email and audiovisual alerts, and will then respond with help.

 




An autonomous emergency alert for collisions

Smart24 already features an Emergency Alert feature, so where does Collision Response fit in?

Putting to one side the whole onboarding process, if you boil it down to the interface that a user will learn how to use, then a typical panic/help/emergency/check-in button will require four steps – or ‘taps’:

The first tap to unlock the phone, a second tap to open the app, a third to tap ‘Emergency’, and a fourth to confirm.

You might be able to get this down to one or two taps using a wearable like a smartwatch or a ‘bluetooth’ bracelet/pendant. Wearables are a great idea for some scenarios, but they also introduce significant challenges around pairing the device reliably across all phones, as well the hassle and anxiety of maintaining another battery besides the phone, and also remembering to wear it.

In contrast to wearables or an Emergency button, Collision Response and alerting is fully automated, requiring no taps for it to work.

No buttons to press. No settings to adjust. No interaction needed. It’s an autonomous system. Like an airbag. 

This is important if you are involved in a serious road accident in a more rural area where you may isolated, partially incapacitated, and unable to reach for your phone.

If you’re able to interact with the app, a notification on your lock screen leads you directly into the app, allowing you to override the collision alert if necessary.

To sum up, while we can debate the use of a wearable versus an app interface versus a fully automated alerting, the more important issue is that every safety system requires safeguards. We’ll be following up in a future post about the safeguards that we’ve implemented for Collision Response.

 

Towards safer, more productive journeys

Collision Response also features a Trip Review section that detects and analyses your road trips, helping you to understand where your driving style, or that of your driver, could be safer or improved. This includes the ability to detect and advise on any potential distracted driving (use of the phone while driving). We’ll be talking more about the Trip Review feature in a future post.


If you would like to know more about Smart24 Collision Response, please get in touch with one of our experts at sales@track24.com.