According to the World Health Organisation Global status report on road safety 2009, pedestrians account for more than 19% of road fatalities in the EU-27. Most accidents with pedestrians are caused by the driver being not alert or misinterpreting the situation. For that reason advanced forward looking integration safety systems have a high potential to improve safety for this group of road users. These systems combine reduction of impact speed by driver warning and/or autonomous braking with protective devices upon impact.
Previous EU research projects resulted in systems which are gradually entering the market. However, such new systems have to be widely deployed in the marketplace to realise their potential benefits.
The objective of the ASPECSS project is to contribute towards improving the protection of vulnerable road users, in particular pedestrians and cyclists, by developing harmonized test and assessment procedures for forward looking integrated pedestrian safety systems.
The outcome of the project will be a suite of tests and assessment methods as input to future regulatory procedures and consumer rating protocols. Implementation of such procedures/protocols will enforce widespread introduction of such systems in the vehicle fleet, resulting in a significant reduction of fatalities (30% pedestrians, 20% cyclists) and seriously injured (50% pedestrians, 20% cyclists) among these vulnerable road users.
Activities are in line with objectives set in the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: Towards a European road safety area: policy orientations on road safety 2011-2020. In this communication the Commission proposes to target of halving the overall number of road deaths in the EU by 2020 starting from 2010. To reach this goal, the Commission indicated safety of vulnerable road users to be one of the three main priorities. On a more specific level the use of modern technology, among which Pedestrian Recognition systems, should be promoted.
ASPECSS has defined scenarios and weighting factors for testing the pre-crash part of integrated pedestrian safety systems. The project has also developed a methodology for estimating the benefit of the pre-crash braking part of the safety systems. A driver model, incorporating factors related to physical and mental human skills as well as age-specific capabilities and driver reactions, has been designed for assessing the effectiveness of pedestrian protection systems. Project partners have also carried out extensive work on the simulation and testing activities required to generate input data for the construction of the injury risk functions.
AsPeCSS provided an overall assessment methodology on a benefit related basis as a test and assessment protocol for integrated pedestrian protection systems with pre-crash (AEB) braking. This has been proposed together with AEB test protocols and the standard Euro NCAP pedestrian passive safety test protocol. The methodology calculates the cost of pedestrian injury expected, are impacted by the car being assessed, taking into account the impact speed reduction offered by the car’s AEB (if fitted) and the passive safety protection offered by the car’s frontal structure. Assuming all pedestrians in the target population, i.e. pedestrians are impacted by the front of the passenger car. For rating purposes, this cost can be normalised by comparing it to the cost calculated for selected cars.
The overall purpose of the AsPeCSS project was to contribute towards improving the protection of vulnerable road users, in particular pedestrians and cyclists, by developing harmonised test and assessment procedures for forward-looking integrated pedestrian safety systems. Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) systems for pedestrians have been predicted to offer substantial benefit. On this basis, consumer rating programmes, e.g. Euro NCAP, are developing rating schemes to encourage fitment of these systems.