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Ninja programme to improve road safety

Educational benefits for young drivers will also be adapted to encourage behavioural change in adult drivers

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Ninja Riders programme hopes to bring about behavioural change to improve safety
Ninja Riders programme hopes to bring about behavioural change to improve safety

EIT Digital has introduced a behavioural change programme for road safety aimed at young drivers. It forms part of the company’s Digital Cities Innovation Activity.


Dubbed ‘Ninja Riders’, it aims to create participative communities at city level to help influence young driver behaviour and to train young people on road safety through positive models and entertaining feedback.


The Ninja Riders toolbox is being piloted in Milan where it’s using gamified incentives to improve road safety through behavioural change and to foster a better understanding of young drivers’ risk perception.


According to EIT Digital, driving and mobility behaviour among young people is difficult to assess or influence. Typically, they are not put off by higher insurance premiums and are reluctant to be monitored through connected devices.


The multidisciplinary suite of tools seeks to engage young users in idea generation, product co-design, attitude detection, and data collection. By involving young people and promoting behavioural change, it aims to improve road safety, decrease the social costs associated with road accidents, and help insurers cut damage claims.


Ninja Riders’ development team hopes to realise further indirect impacts of improved road safety such as a decrease in costs both from a social point of view (human lives) and an economic perspective (welfare costs).


Furthermore, the involvement of young people in road safety could be extended to create awareness and behavioural change with respect to other social issues like eco-friendly and sustainable living.


The educational benefits for young drivers will also be adapted to encourage behavioural change in adult drivers, potentially bringing further new products to the corporate social responsibility market.


“We are very excited about making young people protagonists for the improvement of road safety and better future drivers in European societies,” said Irene Celino from programme partner company Cefriel, and innovation activity leader, EIT Digital.


“By raising a new generation of responsible and aware citizens, we’ll pave the way for a new generation of smart cities. Ninja Riders might mark a before and after point in our cities and on our roads.”


The Ninja Riders programme is also looking beyond road safety and wants to develop tools that will involve young citizens in the urban design of their cities and to encourage interaction with city infrastructure to develop better understanding of and to improve urban landscapes.


“Talkin’ Piazza”, for instance, is an application designed to engage people on the go in conversations with their surroundings. It makes urban objects like lamp posts, bus stops, benches or traffic lights, virtually come to life and lets them chat with people via the app asking funny and playful questions.



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