Pirelli has become the first tire company to join the United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund, pledging a contribution of $600,000 (2018-’19) to help the fund in its efforts to make a significant impact in global road safety. At the same time, Filippo Bettini, the company’s chief sustainability and risk governance officer, was nominated to have a seat on the fund’s advisory board.
As a leading tiremaker, Pirelli’s says its foremost concern is to increase driving safety, principally through the application of innovative technologies. Contributing to the fund, and thus to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of halving the number of worldwide road accident deaths by 2020, is 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,” said Jean Todt, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety.
“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. For Pirelli road safety is fundamental. We have longstanding 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 tires we recently presented which allow the monitoring of tire condition and guarantee optimal performance and safety,” said Marco Tronchetti Provera, executive vice chairman and CEO of Pirelli.
“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. Throughout our history, we have been dedicated to the constant improvement of tire safety and we are now moving into the area of intelligent tires with the greater monitoring and ecosystem communication capabilities they bring,” said Pirelli’s Bettini. “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.”
With the launch of two high-technology smart tire products – Connesso and Cyber Car – Pirelli is bringing tire monitoring and accuracy of information to a new level and, as a consequence, ensuring optimum tire performance. Both products are based on tires with embedded sensors which monitor information, such as the tire’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 Cyber Car sends information directly to the cars’ on board electronic systems.
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 for the global economy. The United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund, which was established earlier this year, aims 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 programs 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 10 serious injuries and leverage $51,000 in road safety investment.
For Pirelli, road safety is a key pillar of sustainable development. The company actively supports the two organizations most involved with road safety issues: the FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) 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.