The rapid deployment of an effective road safety countermeasure through a smartphone application – the story of speed adviser.
The NSW Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) trial conducted between 2009 and 2010 was the largest road safety technology trial ever conducted in Australia at that time. Over one hundred light vehicles were fitted with an Advisory ISA device. Modelling from the trial suggested that if every vehicle in NSW was fitted with Advisory ISA then major road safety benefits could be expected - including a reduction in both fatalities and serious injuries of 19% each.
The original ISA technology used in the NSW trial cost around $1,500, however when interviewed participants in the trial stated that although 90% stated they valued the usefulness of the technology they would only be willing to pay less than $250 for the technology. The rapid development of smart phone technology has offered a new channel for the distribution of ISA technology in Australia.
In February 2014, the NSW Minister for Roads announced the release of Speed Adviser, an Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) smart phone application available for free to the public initially on the iPhone device and then on the Android platform. Speed Adviser was downloaded over 43,000 times in the first two months that it was available.
To develop the Speed Adviser Transport for NSW (TfNSW) partnered with Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) and Whereis Maps. More than 225,000 km of speed zones on the NSW road network was mapped for the application.
The development of smart phone applications coupled with the infiltration of this technology into the Australian population presents an opportunity to deliver targeted road safety countermeasures quicker and cheaper than ever imagined just a few years ago.