News Story

How AB InBev and partners are paving the way for a future with safer roads

Posted: May 12, 2023

Starting on May 15, AB InBev will join businesses, policymakers, governments and other partners for UN Global Road Safety Week, a series of events and activities to track progress and collaborate on solutions to achieve the UN global goal of reducing road traffic deaths and injuries by 50% by 2030.

AB InBev relies on safe roads to reach our two billion consumers and six million customers. We operate one of the world’s largest fleets, sharing the streets with our 167,000 colleagues and their families in 50 countries every day.

Traffic injuries and crashes are a leading cause of fatalities and disability worldwide. We’re working to promote safer roads in our communities by delivering solutions that tackle risk factors, such as distracted driving, drinking and driving, as well as improving vehicle design and road infrastructure.

Safer fleets, safer streets

Our top priority is ensuring that we keep our colleagues and communities safe. We continuously improve our standards of fleet safety to help ensure our drivers are operating vehicles responsibly. Smart technology is also strengthening our culture of safety by assisting in managing and helping correct driver behaviors.

Grupo Modelo’s Control Tower in Aguascalientes, Mexico aims to reduce road accidents in our fleet by using innovative technology to detect signs of driver fatigue and distraction, collision risks, unseen obstacles and more.

To help reduce road accidents, Grupo Modelo, our local brewer in Mexico, invested nine million USD in telemetry and AI-powered capabilities to support our 6,000 drivers across Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Dominican Republic. The Control Tower staff in Aguascalientes remotely monitors traffic, vehicle mileage, engine temperature, fuel consumption, maintenance needs and can even detect signs of driver fatigue and distraction, collision risks and unseen obstacles.

By introducing Control Towers and equipping vehicles with advanced technology in our operations we are establishing standardized metrics to better help manage driver behaviors and gain greater insights into risks on the roads to help prevent accidents.

Local solutions with big impact

The causes of traffic incidents are varied and complex, and no one company can solve the issue alone. In 2014, AB InBev and a coalition of private companies created Together For Safer Roads (TSR), the leading international NGO focused on building cross-sector partnerships to improve fleet trucking safety. TSR leverages private-sector technology, data and expertise to create innovative programs aimed at preventing traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities around the globe. One of TSR’s biggest successes is the FOCUS on Fleet Safety initiative. This program supports small and mid-sized fleets (2 to 100 vehicles) which account for about 88% of all commercial fleets on the road. Through FOCUS, participating companies are able to develop safe and efficient operations with a combination of safety training, leadership development and technology.

As a member of TSR’s Global Leadership Council for Fleet Safety, AB InBev is collaborating with other public and private sector fleet operators and technology leaders, sharing expertise and insights on a wide range of issues. One focus of the Council is to reduce fatalities and injuries on the road by helping eliminate driver blind spots. This work is being carried out through TSR’s ‘Truck of the Future’ program, which equips the fleets of cities and companies with advanced camera technology and pedestrian alert systems. Additionally, in 2023 TSR developed a groundbreaking Direct Vision Rating System which, for the first time, will provide U.S. fleet owners with the ability to directly understand the levels of vision that their fleets have—empowering them to procure safer, direct vision cabs.

Alongside this year's UN Road Safety Week, TSR is launching the Fleet Trucking Global Safety Standards Initiative. This exciting new initiative aims to establish industry standards for fundamental safety instruments and plans to result in a comprehensive suite of recommended standards for a broad cross-section of critical safety instruments and technologies. These recommendations intend to support fleets of all sizes in their evaluation and purchasing of foundational safety tools and technology, directly contributing to safer roads for all.

AB InBev also is a long-time participant in Vision Zero NYC. The program is credited with bringing traffic fatalities in New York City to historic lows through a comprehensive program of engineering, education and enforcement. Along with TSR, we also launched Vision Zero in Houston, Texas, home to one of our flagship breweries, to help create safer roadways and prevent traffic fatalities and injuries in the city.

"We are identifying and standardizing world-class solutions that address safety risks and working to equip vehicles with technology to make roadways safer for our people and communities,” said Kelsey Porter, AB InBev Global Director of Safety, Logistics and Sales.

Partnerships to save lives

Starting in 2014, AB InBev spent four years developing a methodology using data and management techniques to help authorities better manage road safety. This included some very effective pilots in Brazil, India and South Africa, resulting in a reduction in fatalities between 30-60% in just three years.

To turn our methodology into a toolkit, we needed a partner with unique training capabilities. In 2018, we signed an agreement with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). One year later, the Management Practices for Safer Roads Toolkit was launched, offering collective learnings gained through data-driven and evidence-based methodologies.

In 2022, AB InBev renewed and expanded our partnership with UNITAR.

In 2020, the toolkit was made available on mobile devices through an interactive e-learning app that is now available in 10 languages. In 2021, UNITAR and AB InBev, alongside the Ministry of Transport of the Federal District of Brazil, shared the results of the Management Practices for Safer Roads Toolkit Immersive Virtual Experience Brazilian pilot program with the world. This next step for the toolkit uses gamified digital tools to promote learning about practical interventions that can help make roads safer.

Impaired driving is also a road safety risk factor. To help address drinking and driving, we actively implement social norms marketing campaigns. In the U.S., Anheuser-Busch formed first-of-its-kind coalition with rideshare platform, Uber, and the nation’s largest drunk driving victim services and advocacy nonprofit, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), to combat alcohol-impaired driving. The campaign aims to drive behavior change by sharing a key message for consumers - “If You Drink, Don’t Drive. Decide to Ride.” Since the inception of the coalition, the group continues to build on the initial success by leveraging local partnerships in communities across the U.S. to drive awareness and prevent alcohol-impaired driving.

External recognition

Last year, two AB InBev road safety initiatives won the 2022 International Road Federation (IRF) “Find a Way” Global Road Safety Awards: The “Brasilia Vida Segura” campaign in Brazil, which used our Immersive Virtual Experience, and our work with the Dominican Instituto Nacional de Tránsito y Transporte Terrestre, which improved safety on the nation’s most important roadway.

Today, the Management Practices for Safer Roads Toolkit is used in 27 countries, with over 30,000 toolkit users – and growing. During UN Global Road Safety Week, AB InBev and UNITAR will host 30 simultaneous webinar training events on the toolkit for governments, NGOs and other organizations.

We have learned the value of continuing to use technology to accelerate the achievement of the Decade of Action for Road Safety and pave the way to more effective road safety interventions. In 2023, we’re working with UNITAR, TSR and the IRF to create a new road safety toolkit focused on motorcyclists, who are some of the most vulnerable road users.

Learn more about our progress in the 2022 Partnership for Action on Road Safety Annual Report

“Along with our partners we can make these safety solutions available more equitably across markets,” added Kelsey. “Together we can help save lives and change the world."

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