Cannes Lions




2 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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South Africa is one of the most crime-ridden and dangerous countries in the world with over 50% of crimes never reported to the police.

Meaning crime stats and maps are never up to date. This leaves vulnerable people unknowingly straying into unsafe areas, along with the consequences that can follow.

Santam, as South Africa's biggest short-term insurer, wanted to help make the country safer.

Due to government corruption and a lack of money, the police are fighting a losing battle against crime with precious little resources.

Corporations and big business are now trying to help in any way they can.

Many have tried to donate funding to government, but that money is just stolen.

Santam wanted to help without having to donate funding that would just end up with the same fate.


What if we had a watch-force on the streets 24/7 that could help provide the data to South Africans to know where crime is and has been?

We already do. Uber drivers. Over 100,000 eyes and ears across South Africa all of whom witness, on average, over 15 incidents every shift - from muggings to break-ins to hijackings.

Drivers simply downloaded the Guardians app and anonymously logged all crime they spotted whilst on their shift.

This new and accurate data, allowed South Africans to avoid recent crime hotspots and navigate their way through risk, police could increase their patrols in the right areas.


The 'Guardians' app thrives on a threefold data-driven strategy: Data Gathering, Data Interpretation, and Targeting.

Data Gathering: Empowers Uber drivers to report incidents and accidents, Guardians amasses valuable crime information across the country, ensuring diverse and comprehensive data mapping. This user-generated data establishes a genuine benefit and connection to the public.

Data Interpretation: Harnessing the power of AWS and Python, 'Guardians' projects the gathered data onto Uber’s open-sourced H3 hexagon map technology. This visualisation helps users make informed decisions - by heightening situational awareness and providing the ability to plan the safest route as opposed to the quickest.

Targeting: To maximise impact, the app delivers real-time risk maps and alerts tailored to individual users' locations, ensuring that the information is both relevant and actionable. By identifying high-risk areas and predicting potential incidents, 'Guardians equip users with crucial knowledge, making our communities safer and fostering a proactive attitude toward crime prevention.


It was key that the journey, implementation and application was as simple as possible across 107,000 Uber drivers:

1. The Guardians app was promoted to drivers across Uber's owned channels (email, in-app messaging and SMS) and also in physical driver road-shows in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

2. Uber driver downloads Guardians app and widget is automatically added to phone home screen for ease of access whilst driving

3. Driver reports specific incident by simply pressing incident type

4. Incident logged, geo-tagged and reported

5. Risk map is then automatically updated with incident data

South Africans received alerts to help them avoid potentially dangerous hotspots all together. Allowing them to plan their safest routes via the risk map or in real-time.

The APl-enabled automatic notifications to local police hotlines for every incident logged and helped the police increase patrols where needed.


There was an over 81% increase in crime data that flooded onto South Africa's risk map from 107,000 Uber drivers, helping 57m South Africans be safer by avoiding crime hotspots.

Media promoted the initiative driving positive brand perception.

The new granular data Santam captured also informed better risk modelling and insurance product development with an increase in profits for the company, all by making South Africans safer.

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Have you saved lives without knowing it?


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