How can we use publicly available data sets to improve road safety?
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26 months ago
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We are a global reinsurance company, which means we provide insurance for insurance companies. We take on some of the financial risk that they take on from their customers. Our main focus is property / casualty reinsurance which means that we are constantly analyzing the potential safety risks within our society and working on solutions that prevent losses from happening.

In order to analyze potential safety risks, we rely on teams of data scientists and actuaries to identify factors and trends. By sharing the trends and factors we identify with our clients (which include governmental entities, insurance companies, and individual consumers) we provide them with the information needed to engage in less risky behavior.  For example, by reducing insurance costs for buildings with automatic fire extinguishing systems, we encourage building owners to spend money on fire suppression equipment.

 One source of risk is the danger of our roadways. From small injuries to fatalities, it is clear that one of the greatest preventable "epidemics" is losses caused by dangerous roadways and dangerous drivers. This risk affects everyone, and we are looking for additional methods and tools to help us tackle this issue. 


We are interested in currently feasible ideas for how we can use publicly available data sets to improve road safety for everyone.  *Participants will be responsible for identifying the public data set and including the location of that data set in their submission.*  

Specifically, please answer the following:

  1. Are roads unsafe? Why or how?  You can describe various different dangers.  
  2. Which data source(s) did you select which would contribute to improving road safety?
  3. How do you think our application of the data would improve road safety?
  4. Please attempt to quantify the benefit to safety using numbers available through public reports.
  5. What other tools/resources would be needed to implement what you're suggesting (computing power, data scientists, new algorithms, etc.)?


  • One of our top criteria when judging solutions will be the feasibility of your idea.  We want you to think creatively and send your outside-of-the-box ideas, but be sure to explain how it would be possible for us to implement them!  
  • Top participants may be invited to work on a project with our innovation lab to work toward integrating the new method/data into our business operation.