Despite their differences, all European cities are facing the same problems: air pollution, noise, congestion, management of waste, infrastructure maintenance, building maintenance, safety, viability of economic activities, protection of employment. 80 % of Europeans live in cities facing increasing problems of traffic pollution and congestion. Almost forty millions Europeans are annually exposed to pollution exceeding at least one air quality guideline. The problem is also reflected in the 2 % loss in GNP due to congestion and in the continuing growth of traffic.
European cities have therefore to implement efficient strategies in order to improve the quality of life in urban and suburban areas, whilst reducing social inequity, increasing the participation of citizens in decision-making process, and finally contributing to improve the economic competitiveness. These are the main objectives of a sustainable urban development.
The aim of STARDUST was to assess the extent to which ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) and AVG (Automated Vehicle Guidance) systems can contribute to a sustainable urban development not only in terms of direct impacts on traffic conditions and environment but also in terms of impacts on social life, economic viability, safety, etc.
STARDUST carried out a global and quantified evaluation of the opportunity of the deployment of selected ADAS/AVG systems. The selection of the systems evaluated is made on the basis of a review of ADAS and AVG options to 2010. The project assesses the impacts of the systems at a city-level, in three case study cities, using an evaluation framework specifically set up, which will include efficiency, safety, energy consumption, pollutants emission and legal aspects.
The originality and the strength of the STARDUST approach are to combine analysis at behavioural, microscopic and macroscopic level, so that the final recommendations will be based on the actual driver behaviour, rather than on theoretical views. Most innovative in STARDUST is the integration of end user potential acceptance analysis (by means of stated preference surveys), investigation of the human factors issues (using data from instrumented vehicles, driving simulators, and microscopic modelling) and larger scale assessment of the impacts, at city-level (using network simulation models). Besides, the results of the impact assessment will be compared between three Northwest-European cities (Brussels, Southampton, Oslo), which again highly increase the reliability of the final conclusions.
Finally, STARDUST also carries out a review and synthesis of the existing analysis on the legal and institutional aspects of the deployment of the selected ADAS and AVG systems.