Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Meet the European driver

Who are Europe’s drivers? And what will keep them safer on Europe’s road? These were the fundamental questions asked by PReVENT, the largest road safety research initiative ever launched on the continent.

“Really, we cannot talk about the European driver,” explains Matthias Schulze, coordinator of the PReVENT project and Senior Manager for ITS & Services Daimler AG.

“We really need to talk about European drivers, because it varies enormously, particularly along national lines. It means that designing effective road safety systems is a real challenge,” reveals Schulze.

German drivers like to go fast and do not want a car nagging them about their speed, whereas French or Dutch drivers are a little more sedate and do not mind a little solicitous advice. Italian drivers are more likely to drive closer to the vehicle ahead.

And all drivers react differently to the human machine interface (HMI), the audible or visual warnings given by any in-car system. “It is a hugely important area, because these systems are useless, or worse, even dangerous, if they confuse or irritate the driver,” explains Dr Maxime Flament, manager of the EU-funded PReVENT project and head of the safety sector at ERTICO- ITS Europe.

PReVENT is the largest road safety research initiative ever launched in Europe, with a budget of over €50 million and 56 partners. It takes in a broad, but highly complementary programme of research. A dozen projects focus on specific road safety issues, but all projects support and feed into each other in some way. It means the impact is greater than the sum of its parts.

Expensive mistakes and false alarms
Evaluating the impact of potential technologies – whether they really do warn drivers in a clear and timely manner, and whether they can prevent accidents – is a crucial area of research. It will not only prevent expensive mistakes, but also identify cost-effective technologies with the greatest possible impact.

That was the work of PReVAL, a sub-project within the PReVENT work programme aimed at developing pre-production evaluation platform for Advance Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). It looks at driver behaviour and preferences, examines the impact of the human-machine interface, and assesses the potential real-world impact.

“For example, we found that it is vitally important to eliminate false alarms. If the system alerts the driver in a no-risk situation, the driver will begin to ignore the warnings,” Flament reveals. “And it must be absolutely unambiguous. Does the warning relate to an imminent head-on collision or a truck in the blind spot?”

Failure to get it right could make cars less safe, not more. The system must be as intuitive as indicating a right or left turn. It must be integrated in a seamless, natural way that does not interfere with driving experience, but enhances it. More iPod than VHS.

It was an immensely difficult problem, because PReVAL had to start more or less from scratch. “Right now, there is an independent, international standard for crash test performance, called EuroNCAP. But no such standard exists for ADAS,” explains Flament. “PReVAL contributes to filling that gap.”

PReVAL went beyond the consortium to draw on expertise from other leading European projects in the field, such as APROSYS, AIDE or eIMPACT.

In the final system, PReVAL promoted the holistic observation of all a system’s aspects. The first part estimates the technical reliability of a new system. The second part looks at its effect on driver behaviour and performance, while the third evaluates the impact on traffic safety.

Safe and comfortable
“These have established a first step for an independent validation system, and that is work we can build on in the future,” notes Flament. “It is a good start, but it is only a start!” PReVAL has outlined the major issues that must be addressed and offered a prototype system for validating new technologies.

PReVal tested the dozen-plus projects within the PReVENT work programme. It discovered, for example, that sub-projects like WILLWARN, which uses wireless communications to alert the driver to oncoming vehicles, and LATERALSAFE, which warns the driver about cars in the blind spot, could have an immediate impact. Other projects showed positive results too, but need more testing.

It is a beginning, and it could lead to European drivers that are safe, as well as comfortable, in their car.

Ahmed ElAmin | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht Study sets new distance record for medical drone transport
13.09.2017 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

nachricht Researchers 'count cars' -- literally -- to find a better way to control heavy traffic
10.08.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

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: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Modular safety concept increases flexibility in plant conversion

22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>