Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tackling traffic’s biggest killer

14.03.2008
Each year, over 40,000 people meet their end on Europe’s roads in car accidents. It is the equivalent of several small-scale wars. The biggest killer is head-on collisions, with 6,000 casualties annually. But now new car and road technology developed here could bring peace to Europe’s roads.

It is the most powerful impact a car can suffer and it is very difficult to predict or avoid; twin fatal factors that make head-on collisions the most devastating killer on the continent’s roads. Of the 40,000 people who meet their tragic end on Europe’s roads and streets each year, 20% are head-on collisions.

In many ways, that is just the horrifying beginning. Head-on collisions are more likely to lead to multiple car pile-ups, they demand huge rescue efforts, and they lead to more serious, lifelong injuries too.

These shocking facts demonstrate the desperate need to improve safety on Europe’s roads. Tackling traffic’s biggest killer is one of the key aims of PReVENT.

PReVENT is the biggest research initiative into road safety ever launched on the continent. It is big in every sense: 54 partners, a €55m budget and dozens of major projects covering every aspect of road and car safety.

But the biggest impact will be the lives saved.

It is already happening, with life-saving technologies developed by PReVENT continuously entering the market.

Virtual safety belt
It has over a dozen major sub-projects focusing on almost every aspect of road safety, creating a virtual safety belt that encompasses the whole car. Take the SAFELANE and LATERAL SAFE sub-projects. The first supports lane changing, while the second alerts drivers to cars, motorcycles or pedestrians in the blind spot.

Yet another, INTERSAFE, deals with safely turning at intersections, while a series of related passive safety projects protect vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians, and mitigate the impact of crashes when they do occur. APALACI, for example, is the ‘Advanced pre-crash and longitudinal collision management system, while COMPOSE can even apply the brakes before the driver can react. And UseRCams can spot obstacles, or people, in front and obliquely.

One project, called PReVAL, also looks at the impact of these technologies. It is building a reliable test of the impact a new system might have on lives saved in the real world. It can track benefit against cost and the simplicity of a system, offering insight into the greatest returns – a vital tool for policy-makers.

MAPS&ADAS developed a warning system using enhanced satellite navigation maps to tell the driver of upcoming hazards – like intersections, blind turns, and dips in the road. It has huge potential, and should appear in cars in the next two to three years.

Others, like INSAFES and PROFUSION, integrate various sensors so they co-operate, offering greater functionality at the cost of software development, which is very cheap to make and easy to deploy. The upshot? Total functionality becomes greater than the sum of its parts.

“Not only will this help make Europe’s roads safer, it will make the carmakers and ancillary industries enormously competitive,” explains Matthias Schulze, coordinator of the EU-funded PReVENT and Senior Manager for ITS & Services at Daimler AG.

New era of traffic safety
All PReVENT projects feed into each other in some way, and nowhere is this more important than in head-on collisions. But two projects focus closely on traffic’s biggest killer.

SASPENCE deals with safe following distance and speed, using long-range sensors and map data. It also integrates with another vital project, WILLWARN, which promotes car-to-car wireless communication to warn you and other drivers of oncoming traffic or hazards, like black ice, up ahead.

SASPENCE uses long-range sensors to assess the distance to the car in front and tracks this against your speed and the safe braking distance. This can have enormous impact.

Studies show that driving just 1 km/h faster in dense traffic will increase the probability of an accident with injuries by 3 percent. The difference seems small, but with over 260 million vehicles on Europe’s roads, tiny changes make a big difference. PReVENT tested the SASPENCE system in two demonstration vehicles.

WILLWARN is even cleverer and ushers in a new era of traffic safety. It can detect potential road hazards using data from various in-vehicle systems, such as the automatic breaking systems (ABS), and inform other vehicles about these hazards via WLAN-based communication. On the one hand, WILLWARN maps nearby vehicles, and on the other it can send or receive information about upcoming road conditions. The system was tested in BMW’s 520i and 120d, Mercedes A 200 and S350 and the Smart Fortwo.

PReVENT also tested the system using its PReVAL assessment scheme and both were effective, WILLWARN especially so. They proved popular with drivers, too. The technologies, particularly WILLWARN, could appear in cars in the next two to three years.

This practically demonstrates the impact of PReVENT and its raft of sub-projects. If that is not enough, PReVENT has ties with a host of other European projects, including EASIS, APROSYS, AIDE and many others. It also links with Europe’s Intelligent Car Initiative and its safety programme. PReVENT’s work even became a flagship demonstration of the Intelligent Car Initiative.

It might seem like overkill, but in 2001 Europe pledged to cut traffic fatalities by 50% in 2010. A tough target, and one that will need all the help it can get.

Ahmed ElAmin | alfa
Further information:
http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults/index.cfm/section/news/tpl/article/id/89636

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht Tool helps cities to plan electric bus routes, and calculate the benefits
09.01.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Realistic training for extreme flight conditions
28.12.2016 | Technical University of Munich (TUM)

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Transport of molecular motors into cilia

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones

28.03.2017 | Information Technology

NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>