The EvoRoads project, which commenced on 1 May, officially launched this week with a kick-off meeting on 21-22 May at the ERTICO office in Brussels. Coordinated by ERTICO’s Senior Manager of Innovation and Deployment Coen Bresser, the Horizon Europe initiative aims to significantly advance road safety in Europe over the next 36 months, involving 20 partners from various sectors. The European Commission (EC) has set forth ambitious targets in response to increasing concerns about road safety among European citizens. Following the roadmaps for 2010 and 2020, the EC now aims for a 50% reduction in road fatalities and serious injuries by 2030, a milestone towards the ultimate ‘Vision Zero’ goal of zero deaths and serious injuries on European roads by 2050. The ‘Safe System’ approach, foundational to the EC’s 2021-2030 road safety policy framework, underpins this vision.

The project is designed to accelerate the achievement of the EU’s Vision Zero goal through an innovative and data-driven approach. It will develop and implement a comprehensive framework of models, tools, and services aimed at enhancing road safety assessment, infrastructure monitoring, and risk management. The project focuses on several key objectives: utilising key performance indicators (KPIs) to gain a detailed understanding of factors influencing road safety performance and to monitor progress towards the EC’s targets; promoting safety for all road users by developing solutions that enhance safety for both urban and rural road users; modernising infrastructure monitoring by integrating advanced communication and sensory technologies to improve monitoring and maintenance; and adopting user-centric methodologies that consider complex user behaviours to minimise safety risks. At an operational level, the project will define safety criteria and methodologies for quantifying KPIs, encompassing the entire “Safe System” approach. It will also establish a connectivity platform for digitalising transport infrastructure assets and harmonising safety assessment services.

The project will leverage advanced AI-driven analytics to merge infrastructure monitoring data from various geospatial resolutions. This integration will support proactive risk warning services and assist road operators in maintenance management. The approach will be validated through thematic demonstrations in four European countries: Spain, Italy, Latvia, and Romania. These countries will provide diverse testing grounds, with Spain sharing best practices to address high road fatality rates in the other three nations.

ERTICO’s previous involvement in projects like 5GMETA, 5G-MOBIX, PoDIUM, and SAFE STRIP will provide valuable insights and methodologies for the project. These projects have demonstrated the potential of integrating advanced technologies into road safety and infrastructure management. With the project now underway, Europe takes a significant step towards its Vision Zero goal. The project’s success could serve as a blueprint for other regions striving to improve road safety and achieve ambitious targets.

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