Volkswagen’s campaign aims to make pedestrian crossings safer

Volkswagen's Human Crossing

If you knew the person crossing the road, would you drive any differently? Volkswagen thinks you would.

As a proof of concept, the carmaker set up a structure arched over a pedestrian crossing outside of Gems Wellington Academy Silicon Oasis, highlighting names of individual students crossing beneath it, giving a face to each pedestrian and reminding motorists that the individual crossing could be their family, friend or neighbour.

About 20 per cent of all traffic accidents in the UAE involve a pedestrian, according to Abu Dhabi Police. Volkswagen’s road safety campaign, called the Human Crossing, in partnership with Dubai Silcon Oasis Authority and Smart Dubai, was part of efforts to make pedestrian crossings safer for UAE residents.

“The goal is to make our roads more human,” says Thomas Milz, Managing Director, Volkswagen Middle East. “Human roads are safer roads, because they’re full of compassion and care. At Volkswagen, we do everything to engineer safer cars, but we cannot engineer our surroundings. We can, however, offer innovative ideas and initiatives that can create a positive discussion for change.”

The tech

As part of the Human Crossing, 2,000 RFID tags were provided to students at the Gems Wellington Academy Silicon Oasis for the duration of the project, which ran from May 12-19.

Each RFID chip was enclosed in a Volkswagen key chain, which was added to the schoolbag of all 2,000 students who used bus routes each day.

RFID tags and motion tracking technology were utilised in the project to ensure the name followed the student’s movement below the Human Crossing arch.

All names that appeared on the overhead arch were changed to protect the privacy of the students and Gems Wellington Academy.

Does giving a face and name to a pedestrian change things? What do you think?