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FIA Smart Driving Challenge uses AI to analyse driving ad encourage safer and more eco-friendly behaviour on the road.

The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) has launched a global contest to encourage and reward smart driving. 

The FIA Smart Driving Challenge (SDC), which is supported by FIA Member Clubs across the world, is open to all motorists and all types of cars (electric, hybrid or fuel), with the aim to reward the safest and most efficient drivers.

Currently, 12 FIA Clubs have either joined the challenge or are conducting tests (Automobile Club Association - France, Automobile Association Philippines - Philippines, Automobile Association of Singapore - Singapore, Ceylon Motor Sports Club - Sri Lanka, Emirates Motorsports Organisation - United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong Automobile Association - Hong Kong, Kungliga Automobil Klubben - Sweden, Norges Automobil-Forbund - Norway, Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation - Qatar, Royal Automobile Club of Norway - Norway, Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania - Australia, Svenska Bilsportförbundet - Sweden), with more looking to join in the future. 

The aim of the FIA Smart Driving Challenge is to encourage drivers to handle their car in a safe, efficient and considered way by promoting the following 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 pilot season of the SDC started earlier this year. It is organised around 14 heats, each of them being a calendar week long, and gathers 20 teams led by famous professional drivers, such as six-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier and BMW works driver Martin Tomczyk. 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 that will then connect 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. 
Enerfy uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to evaluate driving patterns in real time during the heats. The AI platform compares these patterns to a database that has 650 billion unique driving situations, based on analyses of over 50 billion kilometres of driving, and can instantly identify when a participant has been driving safely, sustainably and smartly. The platform uses these comparisons to calculate a driving score to determine both the individual and team rankings of the challenge. With this method, drivers collect points with every drive over one kilometer during each of the 14 heats.
The top twelve drivers will compete at a final in Paris in December, with the winner invited to attend the exclusive FIA Prize Giving Ceremony, where the FIA celebrates its world champions.
FIA Secretary General for Automobile Mobility and Tourism Andrew McKellar said: “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.”
Global Race
FIA Clubs across the world are strongly supporting this new FIA initiative to reward the world’s smartest driver. 

“Smart driving is better for the motorist and the environment so we are fully supportive of this challenge,” said Børre Skiaker, Secretary General, Royal Automobile Club of Norway. “This is a great initiative from the FIA and is part of its forward-thinking approach to tackling issues on our roads.” 
When joining the challenge, participants have to choose a team led by one of 20 racing stars from across the world. During the season, these team leaders give them tips and incitements to improve their smart driving skills.
Dakar Rally champion Jutta Kleinschmidt, who is one of the team leaders, said: “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 experience that teaches you as you drive, making you safer and smarter on the roads.”
Eye on the Prize
Although only in its first pilot season, the challenge has been joined by motorists worldwide.
French participant Hiram Danimbe, who is currently leading the 2019 Challenge, explained how the FIA Smart Driving Challengehas already changed his driving: “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. ”
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.