How Can Blockchain Technology Keep American Drivers Safer On The Roads
The internet and fifth-generation communication tools have become increasingly popular in recent years, as it provides better and more convenient flexibility for end users.
In the last couple of years, companies and mainstream service providers have adapted to utilizing blockchain-based tools and services, as an increasing number of consumers and developers are looking to move towards widespread adoption of Internet of ThingsC and blockchain technology to mitigate traditional problems, and provide innovative solutions.
Yet, in this short time, we’ve witnessed how blockchain technology can be used for a mirage of things, with an increasing number of research and development efforts being focused on road safety and traffic management.
Blockchain technology is now helping authorities address various issues, running from reckless driving behavior to predicting road collisions, and helping improve overall road service and maintenance delivery, among others.
An early motor vehicle traffic fatalities report of 2021 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) projected that around 42,915 people died in motor vehicle collision crashes in 2021, an increase of 10.5% from the year before. This projection is based on the NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System.
As the number of road users and drivers increases year by year, how will cities and local authorities ensure the safety of drivers on the road, while utilizing advanced communication tools and blockchain technology – a world unexplored, and filled with potential.
Blockchain Technology in Road Safety
While blockchain technology was initially thought to grow alongside the likes of cryptocurrencies and Non-Fungible Tokens or NFTs, those developments have now branched out further into various new fields and industries.
Not only has blockchain technology significantly reduced the cost of peer-to-peer transactions, but it’s also made it easier, more secure, accurate, and transparent.
According to PwC findings, blockchain technology now has the potential for application beyond cryptocurrency, digital assets, and finance. Instead, it’s looking to become more applicable in collaborative efforts to improve business processes, insurance transactions, fleet and supply chain management, and also road safety.
In the United States, with more than 222 million licensed drivers according to Statista, roughly 1 in 8 motorists had no form of automotive insurance in 2019, as the number of people in a car accident with no insurance has increased over the last few years, varying among states.
With lax driving tests, insufficient training, and around 12.6% of Americans that don’t have motor insurance, blockchain technology could perhaps prove to become a viable solution for road safety and management authorities.
Geolocation and Tracking
Geo-tagging and location tracking have been around for quite some time, and have been at the heart of many companies that operate based on track and deliver services.
It’s perhaps more interesting to see how the collaboration between geolocation and blockchain technology could enable connected vehicles and autonomous tracking, as cars can interact with one another on the roads.
Furthermore, geolocation also works on the premise of updating traffic conditions, as more cars become clustered in a specific area or region, and enables ongoing alerts or status updates regarding road conditions, ranging from weather to accident reports.
Rapid Data and Information Exchange
Wireless technology and software efforts such as 5G and Long-Term Evolution (LTE) have made it increasingly convenient to share large formats of data and information between two or more designated points.
When one starts combining these efforts with that of blockchain technology, a new concept of data and information exchange reveals itself.
For starters, we could see how blockchain technology in vehicles, or delivery trucks for that matter, could rapidly share information across various data points within a specific location. More so, this could branch out even further, where authorities could monitor traffic volumes, driver behavior, and predictive patterns over several hours or days.
As systems become more integrated with driver behavior, it could be possible to create more accurate and predictive models to help understand how collisions occur, what led up to the incident, and how fast were emergency information shared across the area to connected points.
The idea here is to securely share necessary driver data with other connected vehicles and information points. With an increasing number of points, it could become easier to compile more accurate information to help improve road safety conditions and management where needed.
Road Management Predictive Models
As already discussed, we see how data and information could be used to provide more accurate insight into driver behavior. On the other hand, blockchain technology could become a tool that helps to improve road conditions through its management capabilities.
With information sets being read into the blockchain and driver ledgers being more accessible, road management authorities could improve their planning and maintenance efforts accordingly.
This could lead to more accurate predictive models, to help better understand where improvements may be needed, and where unlicensed drivers could need more assistance during their training.
These capabilities will become the blueprint from which authorities could map and plan their cities and streets. It would help them become more connected with motorists, and enable them to predict more accurately without needing traditional data sets to provide them with insights.
A major part of what makes blockchain increasingly valuable is its ability to safely transport information and data in secure and decentralized ledgers, away from public scrutiny.
The applications of blockchain can be put to work in a mirage of ways that could perhaps lead to malicious activity. While these are still far and wide in between, considering how it’s able to improve driver safety through privacy and information security to side-step data breaches by third parties.
While blockchain enables various users to transact on the same blockchain, security protocols could mean that connected vehicles on the road can be safer, and more private. Additionally, it would mean that location tracking and movement could also safely be captured and stored, without interference from third parties.
Motor Vehicle Maintenance
While blockchain technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) can help compile more accurate data, and ensure driver information safety – it could also become a model upon which vehicle maintenance could be based.
For this we could see how blockchain can monitor the overall health and well-being of a vehicle, running diagnostics on different parts of the vehicle and monitoring vehicle performance. Additionally, blockchain technology and software could more accurately understand the condition of vehicle parts, and when a car could be due for an upcoming service.
This would not only make vehicles safer, and run more efficiently, but it could increase the lifecycle of some vehicles and help improve roadworthiness.
The technology behind this would be able to see whether cars are still fit for the road, and what improvements need to be made for them to remain woad worthy without having to run into any issues. This can lower car maintenance costs for drivers, and ensure vehicles are operated more economically.
While the possibilities of blockchain technology are seemingly endless, it poses innovative solutions to systems still running on primitive technology and software.
In terms of road and motorist safety, blockchain technology could enable increasing motor vehicle connectivity, geolocation and tracking, and improved vehicle maintenance monitoring. These efforts could improve overall driver safety, and in the long run, can deliver more accurate and predictive models to improve road management and safety protocols.
Blockchain technology, while powerful on its own, can see more development when collaborated with the likes of 5G technology, IoT, and perhaps Software as a Service. Yet, these capabilities are only possible with the further innovation and constant development pursued by private and public entities looking to improve safety on American roads.