MILAN — Pirelli & C. S.p.A. has become the first tire company to join, and obtain a seat on, the United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund Advisory Board.
Pirelli has pledged a contribution of $600,000 to help the fund in its efforts to make a significant impact in global road safety. At the same time, the company's chief sustainability and risk governance officer, Filippo Bettini, was nominated to have a seat on the fund's advisory board.
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 complementary extension of the company's own mission, Pirelli said.
"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 U.N. secretary-general's special envoy for road safety, Jean Todt," Marco Tronchetti Provera, Pirelli's executive vice chairman and CEO, said.
"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 tires we recently presented which allow the monitoring of tire condition and guarantee optimal performance and safety," he said
Pirelli recently launched two smart-tire products — Connesso and Cyber Car — that feature embedded sensors to monitor information, such as the tire's pressure, temperature and wear, in real time. Connesso sends information to the driver's smartphone through a dedicated app, while Cyber Car sends information directly to the car's on-board electronic systems.
According to U.N. 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 assist U.N. member states to substantially curb the number of fatalities and injuries from road traffic crashes, as well as reduce economic losses resulting from these crashes.
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 being the priority.
The U.N. 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.