Microsoft and DataKind to use big data and help reduce traffic deaths in three new cities

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In August 2015, Microsoft announced that it was partnering with DataKind, to eliminate traffic-related deaths and severe injuries in urban areas across the globe. The DataKind Vision Zero movement, as it’s called, aims to see the number of deaths and severe injuries in traffic accidents reduced to zero.

DataKind is expanding its Vision Zero project to more cities in the US with help from Microsoft. San Jose, Seattle, and New Orleans are the three newest US cities to join the Vision Zero project; New York City is already onboard.

DataKind hopes that by using traffic data science, it will be able to realize its Vision Zero project. The Vision Zero project seems like an impossible task, but hopefully with the help of Microsoft and data analysis, there can be a better dent in the number of deaths and injuries in traffic-related accidents.

Using a combination of public and private data, DataKind can use new data science analyses to identify and figure out what interventions need to be made to improve traffic safety for people on whatever way they chose to get where they’re going; whether it be a car or a hoverboard.

DataKind is slowly expanding its Vision Zero project so that DataKind can figure out how to create customized traffic campaigns for each city. At the same time, the more traffic information that DataKind gathers, there will be a wider range of traffic data to choose from and may help more cities that are added to the Vision Zero project in the future.

In New York City, DataKind has used its traffic data to put a number of traffic safety measures in place and will analyze the data collected to see if the safety measures have had any effect on the number of traffic-related deaths and injuries.

In one of the newer cities in the Vision Zero project, like Seattle, pedestrian and bike safety is a number one priority, so DataKind will have to focus on whether it is driver or biker behavior that is contributing to deaths and injuries, or if street signs are to blame.

This week at the Transportation Alternatives Vision Zero Cities Conference in New York City, DataKind talking about the importance of the Vision Zero project and why a collaborative approach to traffic safety is needed to prevent traffic-related deaths and injuries.

You can follow the DataKind’s conversation on Twitter at #VisionZero2016 and learn more about the project expansion and the individual city projects on DataKind’s blog.