Mapping and assessing road safety devices and road hazards
Where are our safety devices? What condition are they in? How well do they work?
About 35,000 people die on US roads annually, a leading cause of death for Americans age 4-34. More than half of those people do not strike another vehicle. Some run off an unmarked corner into a ditch, others strike an unprotected telephone pole next to the road. More than 1,000 die after impacting a guardrail that might have protected them had it been in better repair , or if it's design had been improved by field testing.
To get to zero deaths we need a map of the signs, barriers, and other features that are in field. We need to repair them when they are damaged, worn-out or mis-installed. We need to assess their performance in test areas.
With mobile data collection, machine learning and cloud computing we can find every device on the road for a few dollars per mile. This will allow us to build a map complete enough to make all of this possible.
With this data:
We know what data we are trying to collect, we know how to collect it, and we've made the process as affordable as possible. The difficulty is funding. Roadside data collection doesn't have the emotional appeal of other charitable work. That's why we created a social business.
As a social business we are a profit making, non-dividend business. We sell our services, pay our employees well and use any left over money (profit) to further our mission. We do not pay out our profits to our investors (dividends). This business model was created by the Nobel Prize winning banker Muhammad Yunus, and we have bound ourselves to follow his seven principals of social business. These principles, and his arguments for this new kind of capitalism, are laid out in his book, Building Social Business and in this video.