To find an innovative technological solution that allows the detection of the illicit use (continuous manual use of mobile phone while driving) of mobile phones by drivers during vehicle circulation. The main objectives are to reduce road accidents in Portugal, by preventing occurrences caused by distracted driving due to the continuous manual use of mobile phones and, simultaneously, to help the police in its enforcement mission and a more effective management of the associated infractions.
The ultimate goal of the Seeker is to promote an improvement of the self-awareness regarding road safety, at a national level.
It is intended to find an innovative technological solution which contains a system to detect infractions associated to the continuous manual use of mobile phones by drivers during vehicle circulation, through a non-continuous and random mathematical measurements model, adapted to illicit conditions present in article 84th of the Portuguese Road Code (republished in Decreto-Lei no. 102-B/2020, Annex IV).
The solution shall also contain an electronic data communication system in connection with the competent road authorities, enabling them to be aware of the detected infractions and to identify the vehicles and location in which the occurrences were verified.
In compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it is intended that this innovative solution holds the technical capacity to produce necessary proof elements, enabling public authorities to prove that the driver of that vehicle has continuously handled a mobile phone during the vehicle circulation, under the prohibition conditions in accordance with article 84th of the Portuguese Road Code (republished in Decreto-Lei no. 102-B/2020, Annex IV), so they can proceed to the administrative offense procedure, if applicable.
Additionally, the solution shall have the technical capacity to issue educational warnings to the driver or to transmit by electronic communications others deterrent mechanisms that are properly framed by legislation.
All the requirements of the desired solution are detailed in point 4.2.
The Seeker is a central service of direct Portuguese State administration which holds the mission of planning and coordination at a national level in support of the Government’s road safety policy, as well as the enforcement of road law application.
For the solution of this Challenge, it is considered necessary that the Solver knows the different duties of the competent authorities in road matter, the current national legislation on road safety, the normative documents issued by the European Union, among others.
As a result, the main documents to consult before the preparation of the motion for a resolution of this challenge are listed in Annex I.
Additional information on road accidents at national and international level can be found in Annex II.
There are already some technological interventions set out in several countries with the objective to mitigate the distraction problem associated with mobile phone manual use.
However, despite these technologies’ innovative character and the good expectations on them, there are relevant limitations in practical applications because some of these involve technical changes in communication systems incorporated in vehicles that are already sold or in circulation. On the other hand, for these technological interventions to operate, it is necessary that the vehicle driver voluntarily adhere to mobile applications or to enter specific information.
In the attached Annex III a brief description of some technological interventions in this area can be consulted as well as their main limitations.
Although the real extension of distraction’s effect on road accidents is not known, there is the belief that traditional methods of fighting against unsafe behaviour (like legislation, enforcement and campaigns), are clearly insufficient given the attractive power of mobile phones and other electronic devices.
The conclusions of the European Commission’s final report called “Study on good practices for reducing road safety risks caused by road user distractions” reveal that there are several pending questions that need answers. Thus, considering the main conclusions described in the mentioned report, it is not possible at the moment to predict the evolution of international legislation on this subject, nor if the most promising technological interventions to manage the distraction of vehicle drivers in terms of cost-benefit could be the ones to be the target of compromise in international policy strategies.
The main benefits of implementing the new solution are targeting directly at the citizen, by defending human life and improving safety and are based on the potential to reduce the number of road accidents compared to the same period of the previous year without this solution, yet.
The prevention of road accidents generates also economic and social benefits related to the public community by reducing road fatalities and injured.
In addition, there are other advantages related to the educational character of the solution. Once it is applied, it will contribute to the dissemination of good driving practices, also fostering the general culture of road safety.
In short, considering road safety, it is up to the Government Administration, through its regulatory intervention, to develop and implement policies that contribute to the minimization of the social cost of accidents, with the aim of maximizing social welfare.
The solution to be found shall have an innovative technology without the limitations of the solutions already developed in this context. Goals can be listed according to different perspectives:
a) Objectives from the Seeker’s perspective
Solution in line with the Seeker’s mission and responsibility in the field of road safety and in accordance with the current legal framework (National and European legislation in this matter). Considering the Seeker’s role in terms of supporting government policy, it is possible in this context to develop additional specific legislation to frame some technical aspects arising from the development of the wanted solution.
b) Objectives focused on the driver
The implementation of the desired solution will have an educational character for the drivers. Such a solution also acts as a deterrent to dangerous driving.
c) Objectives from the perspective of the citizen/society
The desired solution shall be cost-effective for the citizen/society. In terms of public policy, the implementation of this technological solution will only be practicable if it is economically viable for the Portuguese society in general and for the citizen while intervening directly.
Additionally, the new solution will benefit the citizen by defending human life and improving safety due to the potential for reducing the number of road accidents. The prevention of road accidents generates also economic and social benefits.
Other issues regarding the communication system:
· Contain an electronic data record and communication system in connection with the competent road authorities enabling them to identify the offending vehicles as well as their location.
· Detail the electronic data communication used with the different interlocutors, including the dissemination of information to the competent authorities in road matter as well as the communication of the infractions to the driver and the interconnection between the diverse software applications of the process.
· Detail of the communication route to be used for the educational warnings.
· Interconnect with the SIGET – Sistema de Informação e Gestão de Eventos de Trânsito (Traffic Event Information and Management System) or other similar Central Information System.
Other essential requirements:
· The solution must have a low probability of generating false positives, tending to zero: the solution shall distinguish false positives from actual infractions, i.e. situations where other people (other than the driver) inside the vehicle in circulation are simultaneously interacting continuously with any mobile phone, such as making calls, write or read texts, emails or other features deemed forbidden for the driver, bearing in mind that doubtful situations are an opportunity for educational alerts.
· The proposal shall suggest the financing model of the technological solution, detailing the installation costs, maintenance costs, etc.
· Justified costs for the development and implementation of a prototype for the demonstration of the solution and the intended conditions for its payment.
· If desired by the Seeker, execute a demonstration, with the implementation of a prototype and availability to meet and discuss the project with the Seeker.
· Estimated deadline for the necessary components to be fully available for the realization of an actual demonstration.
· Ability to manufacturing or to identify potential suppliers that may produce the technological solution presented, respecting the confidentiality agreements provided for.
· Description of limitations of the proposed solution.
Set parsing parameters that define a solution as the best:
· The innovative character of the solution.
· To be independent of the driver’s mobile phone regarding the infraction detection system.
· Using correctly the doubtful cases to send educational alerts instead of generating false positives.
· Propose a model for administrative offense procedure, according to the current national legislation.
· Potential to enable change in national legislation or to incorporate other deterrent mechanisms that may come to be covered by national legislation.
· Protection against intentional malfunctions and associated alert system connected to the authorities (in case the technological solution is not operational or not in compliance with the technical requirements).
· Have an accelerometer to record the time of vehicle collision in the event of an accident.
· High-cost solution for the society.
· Solution that imply changes to the information and communication systems installed onboard of the vehicles in circulation.
· A technological solution where false positives do not tend to zero.
· A technological solution that does not respect the GDPR.
- To be independent of the vehicles specific information/communication systems on the market.
- To be independent of the driver’s mobile phone and to have the ability to interconnect with it. In this case, it should be adaptable to Android and IOS systems.
- System to detect infractions by the continuous manual use of mobile phones by drivers during vehicle circulation, through a non-continuous and random math measurements model adapted to illicit conditions of PT RoadCode
- It is assumed that the illicit condition is the continuous manual use of the mobile phone by the driver while the vehicle is moving. Some usages such as the functionality of hands-free kit are allowed
- The solution to be developed must include a telemetry system that assists the authorities, in different perspectives in this scope: in the traffic offenses, in the educational alerts and in the deterrent mechanisms of illicit practices
- In compliance with GDPR, solution shall hold technical capacity to produce proof elements, enabling authorities to prove that the driver has continuously handled a mobile phone while driving, so they proceed with the administrative offense procedure
- A system with the technical capacity to issue educational warnings to the driver or to transmit by electronic communications other deterrent information, mechanisms that must be properly framed by national legislation and complying with the GDPR
- The legal framework for these messages, as well as the different content and conditions of emission, will be defined by the Seeker or legislator