After three years of work, SAFESTRIP’s strong consortium of 18 partners showcased the project’s findings at the final event on 20 July. The event took place both virtually and on site in Athens, Greece, and attracted the attention of both the professional community and the wider general public.
One of the highlights of the event were the live and virtual demonstrations of SAFESTRIP’s technology showcased at Attikes Diadromes by CERTH/HIT with the support of the University of Trento, SWARCO and VALEO. The demonstrations focussed on the interoperability between the infrastructure and SAFE STRIP’s application, solutions for positioning, Wrong Way Driving, VRU and Road Work Zones, a demonstration on the road back material and autonomous vehicle functions demonstrators.
The event was inaugurated by the Greek Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, who made an important announcement, also praising the high quality outcomes of the project. The event also gathered high-profiled speakers and smart mobility experts from INEA, the President of the International Road Federation (IRF), Geneva Programme Centre & Attikes Diadromes CEO, the Greek Police Lieutenant Colonel, Traffic Policing Division/ Hellenic Police Headquarters and the Vice President of the Hellenic Institute of Transportation Engineers.
“We are very satisfied with the result of this final event and demonstration. Despite the rapid change of scenario caused by COVID-19, SAFESTRIP Members managed to organise a very well attended event.”, said SAFESTRIP’s Coordinator Vladimir Vorotovic (ERTICO).
“In my career I have worked in more than 120 European projects, 40 of which as Coordinator. SAFESTRIP is one of the five best and more important ones.”, said Dr. Evangelos Bekiaris, Hellenic Institute of Transport (CERTH/HIT). “This is because SAFESTRIP is not just another project with another research result: it is a game changer.”, he concluded.
So what was the takeaway of this event, and what has SAFESTRIP achieved in three years?
SAFESTRIP helped closing the research gap of increasing safety not only in vehicles, but also in the infrastructure. This was possible thanks to SAFESTRIP’s technology, which gives live messages from the road to drivers on traffic safety. In addition to increasing safety on roads, which is the core of SAFESTRIP, the project is also expected to reduce highway fatal accidents and fatal accidents at specific traffic scenarios (i.e. merging/intersections), and save costs for the infrastructure and for drivers/riders.
SAFESTRIP has come a long way throughout its project lifecycle, and despite there being still some challenges to overcome (challenges in the existing transport infrastructure, standardisation, policy and regulation aspects), the project is well placed to make a difference in the transport sector.
SAFESTRIP Members identified a number of actions that need to be taken to move forward, starting with guaranteeing the interoperability of SAFESTIRIP’s solution with other C-ITS applications. As technology progresses at a fast pace, it is important to adapt quickly and to harmonise and standardise all C-ITS services. In addition, having a way to assess all these C-ITS service on roads and being trained to use SAFESTRIP’s applications was also mentioned as an important action to be taken.
Despite the difficulties imposed by COVID-19, the project managed to successfully follow its implementation plan. The final event proved that SAFESTRIP is clearly contributing to enabling the introduction of autonomous vehicles in the infrastructure and on the roads, that it has wisely chosen the technology to reach its goal and has the potential to be implemented following a multimodal approach (e.g. applying SAFESTIRP’s technology on the rail infrastructure).
With this important milestone achieved, SAFESTRIP’s consortium is now looking forward to continue its work, with, hopefully, a SAFESTRIP 2 project!