The growing mobility of people and goods has a very high societal cost in terms of traffic congestion and of fatalities and injured people every year. Several studies have shown that the driver is responsible of more than 90% of accidents, mainly through distraction or misjudgement of the current traffic and environmental situations. Passive and active safety has made formidable progress in the past decades, as well as the communication technologies which can create the leap towards the zero accident vision.
In this context several initiatives at European level started to face the challenge for defining a future safer, greener and more efficient mobility through the use of ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems). During its life time, SAFESPOT established a number of active cooperation in particular with the Car2Car Communication Consortium (C2C-CC), with COMeSafety, and with the integrated projects CVIS and COOPERS that have been running at the same time on complementary activities. The SAFESPOT integrated project created the technological building blocks and the reference applications based on vehicles and infrastructure sensing of the traffic and of the environment and on the creation of ad hoc communication networks among vehicles and with the infrastructure to provide time critical safety information in advance.
The key to avoiding road accidents is to extend drivers' time/space horizon in their perception of safety-relevant information, and to improve the precision, reliability and quality of this information. The extent of 'perception' of autonomous vehicle-based systems cannot obviously go beyond the operative range of the sensors. Although effective real time awareness of the vehicle's 'surrounding environment' can be achieved, this clearly has limits. Extended coverage is possible only through collaboration between the infrastructure's and the vehicles' sensing abilities. By combining data from roadside sensors and data made available by vehicles in the vicinity, advance knowledge can be gained of potential safety risks, e.g. an icy patch, fog bank, obstacle or accident on the road ahead (but out of sight). The communication of warnings and advice to approaching vehicles (both directly to on-board units and via roadside signals) will provide the extra reaction time necessary to prevent an accident occurring.
One of the main aims of SAFESPOT was to develop a 'Safety Margin Assistant' which will extend 'in space and time' the safety information available to drivers by:
- using both the infrastructure and vehicles as sources (and destinations) of safety-related information, and definition of an open, flexible and modular communications architecture;
- developing the key enabling technologies: accurate relative localisation, ad-hoc dynamic networking, dynamic local traffic maps;
- developing a new generation of infrastructure-based sensing techniques;
- testing scenario-based applications to evaluate the impacts and end-user acceptability;
- defining the practical implementation of such systems, especially in the interim period when not all vehicles will be equipped;
- evaluating the liability aspects, regulations and standardisation issues which can affect implementation: involvement of public authorities from the early stages will be a key factor for future deployment.
The project, being an Integrated Project, was divided into eight Sub-projects, each addressing a different aspect of the overall goal and, finally, five Test Sites were organised for practical experimentation.
Since the initial project phase all sub-projects have been working together in cross-sub-project working teams on the different topics, to guarantee the consistency and the uniformity of project outcomes. Once installed, this working process and approach has been kept for the whole project time frame.
- In-vehicle sensing and platform: the SAFEPROBE sub-project
This sub-project defined which safety related information can be extracted from the vehicle, considering traditional sensors and also innovative ones (like ADAS sensors). A solution for the vehicle platform has been specified and developed, to enable the exchange of this sensing information with other vehicles and the infrastructure, using a data protocol that allows the maximum flexibility and upgradability of the technological solution, keeping into account the requirement of safety applications (low latency time).
- Infrastructure sensing and platform: the INFRASENS sub-project
This sub-project identified the safety-related information that can be obtained from the on-road infrastructure, considering traditional sensors and also innovative ones (like wireless micro-sensor networks). A solution for the infrastructure platform has been defined and developed so that this sensing information can be exchanged with the vehicles and the infrastructure, using the same flexible protocol that the in-vehicle platform is using.
- Innovative technologies: the SINTECH sub-project.
The key enabling technologies have been developed in this sub-project. Three technologies were foreseen: accurate relative localisation between vehicles (and, in some cases, also infrastructure), local dynamic maps and ad-hoc communication networking among vehicles. All these three technologies have been specified and developed considering the cooperative approach as the basis for the adopted solution. This sub-project provided also substantial inputs to the standardisation process and defined, in cooperation with the C2C-CC, the best candidate communication technology, IEEE.802.11p, to create the network of exchange of safety related time critical information.
- Cooperative system application vehicle based: the SCOVA sub-project
This sub-project designed and developed selected
Each sub-project successfully completed its activity and contributed to the major SAFESPOT achievement, the implementation and validation of the so-called 'safety margin assistant' that can provide drivers with all essential information about a potential risk sufficiently in advance to avoid the need to undertake emergency and risky manoeuvres, having sufficient time to properly react to collision risks.
From a technical viewpoint the most relevant results are the following:
- Implementation and demonstration of V2V IEEE802.11p based technology, with interoperability demonstrated in three common events;
- Local Dynamic Maps (LDM) concept definition, implementation and demonstration. This key original result entered as a topic in the ETSI ITS TC standardisation activity;
- Contribution to the Common European Architecture for cooperative systems;
- Improvement of positioning accuracy through multi-sensor data fusion;
- Analysis and experimentation of available and new sensors to be used at infrastructure level. New sensing techniques and wireless sensor networks were analysed;
- Implementation and demonstration of the following Vehicle based reference applications:
- Road Intersection Safety
- Lane Change Manoeuvre
- Safe Overtaking
- Head On Collision Warning
- Rear End Collision
- Speed Limitation and Safety Distance
- Frontal Collision Warning
- Road Condition Status – Slippery Road
- Curve Warning
- Vulnerable Road User Detection and Accident Avoidance
- Implementation and demonstration of the following Infrastructure based reference applications:
- Speed alert
- Hazard and incident warning
- Road departure prevention
- Intelligent Cooperative Intersection Safety
- Safety margin for assistance and emergency vehicles.
- SAFESPOT cooperative systems based reference applications have been developed to face a number of selected representative cases of use and have been successfully tested and validated in a number of test sites located in Italy, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, France and Spain.
Moreover, within the BLADE sub-project cost/benefit analyses for a number of applications were performed and possible deployment strategies, including business models, were proposed and analysed. Also the legal framework was analysed.
Finally, three common events ( in
Many partners of SAFESPOT are members of C2C-CC and participate in the ETSI ITS TC standardisation activity, using the results and experience for further Cooperative systems development.
SAFESPOT technical analyses and results are reported in a large number of public deliverables, downloadable at SAFESPOT Project website.
An overview is contained in the final report, D8.1.1_Final_Report_-_Public_v1.0.pdf, which also includes (in chapter 13) a summary of recommendations for future work.
In order to have a more details it is suggested to consult the following deliverables D8.4.2_Integrated_vehicle_Infrastructure_Platforms.pdf and D8.4.4_SAFESPOT_Applications.pdf describing the basic platform and the applications.
It is also recommended to consult the deliverable D3.5.4_KeyConceptsAndExploitation_v1.2.pdf which includes a detailed description of the LDM.
Road safety is a right for all European citizens and it is a high priority policy for private operators and public authorities. Additionally traffic efficiency and improved environment are felt as urgent needs at European level. SAFESPOT demonstrated that many technical solutions are working. Nevertheless some more steps should be accomplished in order to achieve the real deployment. The key of success is that all stakeholders involved in the next step of deployment should jointly offer a number of functions and services that together can create a sustainable deployment. Commercial customised services combined with traffic efficiency and safety functions can be perceived as an important added value to improve the individual mobility of people and the mobility of goods.
The ratio between technological solutions and costs should become affordable for the different actors for example to install the function on a motorbike or to install the communication services on highways. A sustainable balance should be reached guaranteeing the accessibility of the services and functions at affordable costs.