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Big data is watching you

Big data is already revolutionising several industries across the globe so there’s no reason it wouldn’t do the same for the toll roads sector.

As one of the world’s largest toll road operators, Spain’s Abertis is in a privileged position to gather all sorts of interesting data points. So, what did it do with its first Global Observatory, collating data from more than two million vehicles across six different countries? Why, it zeroed in on bad behaviour, of course, yielding all sorts of interesting findings.

For example, you might assume those fiery South Americans might find it hard to keep their feet off the pedal, but actually it’s the Europeans that exceed the speed limit the most, with the French the worst offenders.

Not to say the people of South America fail to live up to their devil-may-care reputation – the continent’s drivers use seatbelts the least. Argentinians, in particular, dislike being strapped in, with 69 percent failing to buckle up.

One surprise, though: only 5 percent of drivers across Abertis’s network use their mobile phones while driving – a surprisingly good number given how glued we all are to our small screens. That’s probably a good thing, because if you’re trying to dial your significant other at 120km/h, you drive 429 metres without looking at the road. That’s a lot of beats to skip…