Every two years, an international technical conference on the enhanced safety of vehicles took place alternatively in North America, Europe and Asia / Pacific. This conference was attended by representatives of governments, industry and the scientific community and it has become a reference for vehicle safety improvement over the years.
The 19th ESV Conference took place in Washington DC, United States on 6-9 June 2005, and it was planned that the 20th conference would be organised in Europe two years after. Each conference is organised by one of the ESV country members which are: United States and Canada for North America, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom for Europe, and Australia, Japan and South Korea for Asia / Pacific. Taking into account the above statement, and with the view of attracting more young researchers, the ESV international committee has decided to organise a student competition to design, develop and demonstrate technological innovations to improve road vehicle safety and users crash protection.
The general objective was to organise and support the European part of a worldwide competition for the design, development and demonstration of technological innovations proposed by students with the objective of improving road vehicle safety and users crash protection. It was considered that, in European countries as well as in North America and in Japan, students are not attracted by science and technology.
The aim of this specific support was to organise and support the European part of this competition. This would allow European students to compete with North American, Asian and Australian students. The competition was organised along the same procedure in the three world areas (Europe, North America and Asia / Pacific). For Europe, the information on the competition has been distributed, through EEVC, APSN and IRCOBI mailing lists; to universities through the 25 European countries.
To achieve the project objective the team had to organise the different steps of the competition for Europe, and to coordinate with counterparts in North America and Asia/Pacific.
This coordination with other parties was made through telephone conferences, exchange of E-mails and two meetings.
This allowed using the same rules for the competition in different parts of the world and, at the end, to select a winner.
The competition was organised in several steps, the main ones being:
- the distribution of competition rules, including deadlines, to university teams around Europe,
- the organization of a jury to analyse the eleven written proposals which were received, and select five among them,
- the visit, by a jury of three experts, of each of the five selected teams who presented their scale model,
- the selection of two of them for the next step, which was the exhibition of the model during the ESV Conference.
Finally, one of the two European teams won the worldwide competition.
Eleven written proposals were received out of which five were selected by a group of experts belonging to EEVC.
Each selected team was granted a financial support through the SAFECOS05 project to build a (scale) model of its proposal. A jury of three international experts, appointed by EEVC, visited the five teams. Each team presented their project during half a day to those experts who had the opportunity to ask questions to students. Each project was rated using the same criteria including potential benefits, technical feasibility, and innovation degree. Based on the rating results, two projects were selected to be presented during the 18th ESV conference, which took place in Washington D.C. on 6-9 June 2005.
SAFECOS 05 supported the travel of two students of each team to Washington, and their projects were exhibited to compete with five other projects (two from North America, three from Asia / Pacific region). An international jury of nine experts evaluated the seven competing projects during a formal presentation at the exhibition site, using a standard procedure, in order to select the final winner of the competition.
The project: 'Lateral safety for children' presented by the University of Valladolid (Spain) won the competition and the two students were congratulated during the closing session of the conference.