Ninja Riders - Young Drivers Behavioural Change for Road Safety - is the latest Digital Cities Innovation Activity* from EIT Digital. It aims to create participative communities at city level to influence young driver behaviour and to train young people on road safety through positive models and entertaining feedback.
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. Ninja Riders aims to create young, participative communities who share and shape their local mobility experience through positive and entertaining incentives. Ninja Riders’ multidisciplinary suite of tools will engage young users in idea generation, product co-design, attitude detection, and data collection. By involving young people and promoting behavioural change, Ninja Riders aims to improve road safety, decrease the social costs associated with road accidents, and help insurers cut damage claims.
The Ninja Riders toolbox is currently being trialled in a pilot programme in Milan, Italy, where it’s using gamified incentives to improve road safety through behavioural change and to foster a better understanding of young drivers' risk perception. The development team expects 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 & 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.
However, the Ninja Riders suite isn’t limited to road safety - it is also developing tools to involve young citizens in the urban design of their cities and to encourage interaction with its infrastructure to develop better understanding and improvement of urban landscapes. "Talkin’ Piazza" is an application designed to engage people on the go in conversations with their surroundings. Talkin' Piazza makes urban objects like lampposts, bus stops, benches or traffic lights, virtually "come to life" and lets them chat with people via the app asking funny and playful questions.
Stéphane Péan, Digital Cities Action Line Leader asserted: "Through gamified crowdsourcing activities, Ninja Riders aims to support road safety and alternative mobility solutions, taking into consideration the perception and outlook of the young. This is a very innovative social impact initiative for the next generation of drivers in Europe."
Irene Celino, Cefriel, Innovation Activity Leader said: "We are very excited about making young people protagonists for the improvement of road safety and better future drivers in European societies. 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."
Ninja Riders is one of the 11 Innovation Activities of the Digital Cities Action Line for 2017. This Action Line leverages the digital transformation of the cities through centralised, participative and collaborative interactions between city actors: government, city service providers, industry, and citizens. This transformation enables the deployment of disruptive information, mobility and safety services in the cities.