Pirelli joins UN Road Safety Trust Fund
Pirelli has become the first tyre company to join the United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund, pledging a contribution of US$600,000 (2018-2019) to help the fund in its global road safety efforts. At the same time, the company’s chief sustainability and risk governance officer, Filippo Bettini, was nominated to a seat on the fund’s Advisory Board.
Pirelli says increasing driving safety, principally through the application of innovative technologies, is its “foremost concern.” It therefore sees contributing to the fund, and thus to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of halving the number of worldwide road accident deaths by 2020, as a “natural and complementary extension of the company’s own mission.”
“I welcome this important pledge from Pirelli to the United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund. With momentum building, I call on the support of other donors so that we may scale up the resources urgently required for action to address the critical road safety situation,” stated the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, Jean Todt.
“The Road Safety fund promoted by the United Nations is an important initiative which Pirelli is pleased to support and which we quickly joined when the opportunity of participating was proposed by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, Jean Todt,” said Marco Tronchetti Provera, Pirelli’s executive vice-chairman and chief executive officer. “For Pirelli, road safety is fundamental. We have long standing collaborations with FIA (International Automobile Federation) and other international institutions in support of concrete projects regarding these themes in many countries. We invest significantly in the technological innovation of our products, an example of which are the intelligent tyres we recently presented which allow the monitoring of tyre condition and guarantee optimal performance and safety.”
“Our product is the only part of the vehicle that comes into contact with the road and is therefore the linchpin of all its safety systems,” added Filippo Bettini. “Throughout our history, we have been dedicated to the constant improvement of tyre safety and we are now moving into the area of intelligent tyres with the greater monitoring and ecosystem communication capabilities they bring. However, as important as individual efforts are, it is clear that collaboration – with government agencies, associations, advocacy groups – is the key to significantly reducing the number of road accidents globally.”
According to UN data, an estimated 1.25 million people are killed every year in road accidents and up to 50 million more are injured, which adds up to a cost of around $1.85 trillion to the global economy. The United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund was established earlier this year with an aim to accelerate progress in improving road safety by tapping new resources to stimulate effective action. It will focus on strengthening the capacity of governments, including local and city authorities, to develop and implement road safety programmes with low and middle- income countries the priority. UNECE estimates that every $1,500 contributed to the Road Safety Trust Fund could save one life, prevent ten serious injuries and leverage $51,000 in road safety investment.
Pirelli calls road safety a “key pillar of sustainable development,” and among other things the company actively supports the two organisations which are among the most involved with road safety issues: the FIA and the WBCSD (World Business Council for Sustainable Development). Pirelli is a backer of FIA’s Action for Road Safety campaign, both its high-level advocacy and concrete on-the-ground projects, while with the WBCSD Pirelli is a participant in its Simplify Project for the development of sustainable and safe mobility in different cities all over the world.
The “area of intelligent tyres” referred to by Filippo Bettini includes Pirelli’s recent launch of two high-technology smart tyre products – Connesso and Cyber Car. With these solutions, Pirelli believes it has brought tyre monitoring and accuracy of information to a “new level” and, as a consequence, is “ensuring optimum tyre performance.” Both products are based on tyres with embedded sensors that monitor information, such as the tyre’s pressure, temperature and wear, in real time. In the case of Connesso, the information is sent to driver’s smart phone through a dedicated app, while in the case of Cyber Car it is sent directly to the car’s on-board electronic systems.