Apple Pay as a model for improving pedestrian safety

What's impossible today could become your competitor's coolest feature tomorrow like how Apple Pay squeezes cash out of inefficient fraud-prevention.

I was sitting in the back of an ambulance the other day, my pedestrian wife (who is anything but pedestrian) having been run over by a taxi in NYC.

Something the EMT said got me thinking about Application Programming Interfaces (API’s) and new business models.

The EMT said that 99% of vehicle-pedestrian incidents are taxi related.

There has been a lot of NYC vehicle-pedestrian news lately, causing the city to discuss lowering the speed limit.

If the EMT is right and taxis are overwhelmingly involved, then it would have a bigger impact to specifically target taxis (whether through education or enforcement) than to just implement broad, feel good policies.

I bet you’re wondering, how does this relate to technology, let alone API’s?

Advantage: innovation

My wife was struck by a taxi, which didn’t stop for a stop sign, made a turn and simply wasn’t paying attention.

Let’s pretend that running stop signs is a known cause for incidents.

Imagine it was an Uber and not a taxi?

What if, by tracking car movements the way it already does, Uber could enforce stop sign regulations? I don’t mean make them stop. Rather, by comparing movement against known stop sign locations they could issue violations and manage driver behavior through driver safety ratings.

What if Uber took this one step further and self-insured for any incidents relating to stop sign violations as a way to drive down insurance costs?

What if Uber used their ‘safety differentiation’ to build community support in their disruption of regulated taxi service?

One thing is for sure. If they did, regulated taxis couldn’t offer a competitive service without significant investment.

Apple Pay leads the way

You might think that this is a crazy idea. Why would the insurance companies go for something like this? Why would the drivers?

As it turns out, there’s a model for what I’m suggesting – Apple Pay.

In short, Apple Pay is using the latest in tokenization standards to reduce fraud. They’re adding in proprietary technology (Touch ID) that their competitors haven’t deployed to make it easily accessible. As a result, they’ve supposedly been able to negotiate a per transaction cut of each transaction.

Apple may be taking on some of the fraud risk, the same way I suggest that Uber would by self-ensuring for stop sign related infractions. They can do that because of their advanced use of tokens and TouchID.

Uber has a similar advantage when it comes to driver tracking and the big data around it. They could build a model that makes sense, motivates the desired driver behavior, and creates a safer experience.

A lot to think about

These are the kinds of ideas that need to be explored – ideas that need to be tried rather than discussed.

The research is in, and one thing is painfully obvious. Companies that wish to be leaders need to move faster than they do today.

  1. Leaders need to be able to share information easier, but more securely. An API strategy, even if ‘only’ internal to the organization, plays a critical role in secure mobile information access.
  2. Leaders need to be able to improve software quality, while reducing software assembly line latency. As software eats the world, victory goes to the company that can release faster. Think about Apple Pay. All the banks are starting at the same time. The one that can get ‘top of wallet’ first wins.
  3. Leaders need to be able to deliver and control software effectively in a mobile first world. Companies have to create a global economy of scale, but deliver highly personalized experiences across use case and geography. There are a lot of moving parts, and there’s no way it’s going to scale if companies continue to deliver software on mobile the way they did on the desktop.


Onto important things

Though it was quite a serious incident, they didn’t even use the ambulance’s sirens. Oh, and my wife is well on the mend. We’re both very grateful it wasn’t worse.

Image credit: Asim Bharwani 


Written by

David Bressler

Guest Writer

David is VP finan­cial ser­vices solu­tions at CA Tech­nolo­gies. He is an expe­ri­enced tech­nol­o­gist focusing…

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  • James Holland

    This is great. Hooray for Disney’s imagineers!


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  • king lear

    testing comment functionality, please do not publish this

  • Rachel Macik

    Love the personal pic :)

    • CAHighlight

      Thank you!

  • Plutora Inc

    This is a good case study. 2.3 sec’s off a login transaction is big.

  • Michele Hudnall

    While the analysts were hyping DevOps, I posted the oversight of not including security as part of that discussion as you are highlighting here. Instead of just talking DevOps, it should be DOS (what’s old is new again :-) – DevOpsSec. As a previous AppDev person, it’s the app, who’s using it, why and where rather than the device and having the service available.

    As you rightly point, out Security should be baked into the solution.

    Nice Post and Timely!


    • CAHighlight

      Thank you for your feedback Michele. Agreed – security cannot be overlooked. Appreciate your input!

  • Mitesh

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  • Lars Johansson

    I love the idea of BYOID! This makes me choose if I am almost anonymous (with my Hotmail Nicname) or official with identity from an official organisation. My Identity Provider will attach identity with right level of LoA according to the need of the Service provider.

    • CAHighlight

      Thank you for your comment. BYOID has tangible benefits for end users and relying parties but it also has to be weighed in the balance with potential risks and liability concerns. It will be interesting to see how BYOID plays out in the enterprise.