FIA gets on the safe driving wagon, launches innovative new challenge for all drivers

<i>Image: FIA</i>
<i>Image: FIA</i>

The FIA launched a Smart Driving Challenge (SDC) to encourage and reward smart driving.

The global contest is open to all motorists, and all types of cars with the aim to reward the safest and most efficient drivers.

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Drivers are taught the basics of handling their car in a safe, efficient and considered way.

Smart tips

• Accelerate and brake efficiently in accordance with traffic and other conditions

• Keep a safe distance from the car in front

• Stay focused on your driving and pay attention to your surroundings

• Adapt driving style and speed to conditions, such as traffic and bad weather

The first season of the challenge, currently lead by French competitor Hiram Danimbe, started earlier this year, includes  around 14 heats each lasting 7 days long. A total of 20 teams is led by famous professional drivers, like six-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier and BMW works driver Martin Tomczyk.

"The FIA Smart Driving Challenge has really helped me to improve my driving style. I feel like I am safer on the roads now and much more efficient with how I drive," says Danimbe.

FIA Smart Driver Challenge phone

                                                                                Image: FIA

The challenge is run in conjunction with Swedish tech company Greater Than, which provides participants with an Onboard Diagnostics Reader (OBD) to plug into their car, connecting to the FIA Smart Driving Challenge app activated on their phone and allow a digital platform, called Enerfy, to measure their ability to drive in a smart way.

Covering the bases

Enerfy uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to evaluate driving patterns in real time during the competition, comparing these patterns to a database that has 650-billion unique driving situations, based on analyses of over 50-billion kilometres of driving. This technology determines whether the person is driving smartly, safely and sustainably.

FIA Smart Driver Challenge

                                                                             Image: FIA

Drivers then collect points with every drive over a single kilometre during each of the 14 heats.

The top twelve drivers will compete at a final in Paris next month, with the winner invited to attend the exclusive FIA Prize Giving Ceremony, where the FIA celebrates its world champions.

A global race

"We believe that by encouraging and rewarding smart driving we can help road users adopt safer and more sustainable behaviour. I encourage more Clubs to join this Challenge and to see the potential benefits for their members," says FIA Secretary General for Automobile Mobility and Tourism Andrew McKellar.

FIA Smart Driver Challenge

                                                                                 Image: FIA

"The FIA Smart Driving Challenge not only helps you drive more economically but is a great way to contribute towards environment preservation. It’s an exciting competition that teaches you as you drive, making you safer and smarter on the roads," says Dakar Rally champion Jutta Kleinschmidt, who is one of the team leaders.

Registration for the 2020 FIA Smart Driving challenge can be found here. Entrants registering for the 2020 season will gain access to the end of the 2019 season, where they can practice and refine their driving ahead of next year. Download for the app is available on both iOS and Android.

Compiled by: Robin Classen

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