Just a few days after the magnificent DCOSS2019 conference in Santorini, Greece, the SAFE STRIP team has arrived to ITS European Congress 2019 taking place from 3 to 6 June 2019 in Eindhoven for a week full of exciting presentations, sessions and exhibition.

At this year’s congress SAFE STRIP had a full stand as part of the ERTICO booth where the congress participants

Gianmarco Valenti, University of Trento

could actually come and see the SAFE STRIP (static) road marking and several SAFE STRIP videos explaining the parts of the strip and for example how it harvests energy from renewable sources. On Tuesday 4 June 2019, Gianmarco Valenti of University of Trento presented his scientific paper during a Scientific Session – SP02 – Connected, cooperative and automated mobility / changing role of infrastructure . Valenti focused on the intersections case and presented the Cooperative Intersection Support Application enabled Intersection SAFE STRIP to a full room of participants. The presentation focused on a cooperative intersection support system which exploits the concept of mirroring in cognitive science to perform inference of intention and here boosted with additional and more accurate information on intersection scenario provided by the infrastructure.

On the third day of the congress, Wednesday 5 June, SAFE STRIP was presented at the ERTICO stand by Erwin Vermassen, SAFE STRIP project coordinator and manager at ERTICO – ITS Europe. During his presentation Erwin gave an intro to the C-ITS directive of the European Commission and made connections to other C-ITS projects such as InterCor and C-Roards. Erwin stressed how SAFE STRIP technology is in fact fully compatible with these EC regulations and ready to roll out to market once the project is finalised. SAFE STRIP technology and type of communications it uses were presented in the second part of the presentation to a highly interested audience.

In the afternoon, the Towards smart and safe road infrastructure special interest sessions SIS42 took place. The idea of this session was to present three parallel research initiatives (SAFE STRIP, SAFE-10-T and SAFER-LC) with a common goal of ensuring safety on road, rail and inland waterways using innovative technologies and applications.

The session was opened by Maria Gemou, organiser and moderator of the workshop as well as SAFE STRIP technical coordinator with several common questions regarding safety on road and rail. First speaker, Marieke van der Tuin of TU Delft presented the SAFE-10-T Decision Support Tool
for optimised maintenance planning.  SAFE-10-T focuses on network assets such as bridges, tunnels, earthworks and environment threats including infrastructure ageing, climate change, increased traffic loads.Marieke used case of the port of Rotterdam with road and inland waterway traffic and freight to illustrate how increasing infrastructure failures due to environemantal change are effecting traffic. The SAFE-10-T Decision support tool for optimised maintenance planning for assets in multimodal networks helps infrastructure managers to compose best maintenance plans.

Grigore Haveanu of the International Union of Railways presented different scenarios offered by SAFER-LC on lane level crossings which count for 35% of accidents on European rails. With a transport psychology background, Haveanu presented some interesting low-cost solutions both in technical and human factors terms . These solutions could help the help the infrastructure to become more self-explaining and forgiving (e.g. perception, memory, action excetucion…). SAFER-LC is developing a toolkit which will integrate all these results and solutions to improve safety and  minimize risks around LCs. The SAFER-LC toolkit will help rail and road Infrastructure Managers to select the right way to increase safety at LCs

Josep Maria Salanova, CERTH/HIT also a researcher on the same project presented the pilot sites of the projects and how the high tech solutions for increasing LC safety are implemented in Aachen and Thessaloniki including  train detection and communication of systems utilizing various technologies (LTE, G5, 4G mobile communication network, wired communication) and different equipment (cameras, RSUs, GNSS sensors, LC units).

Finally Francesco Biral of the University of Trento presented the SAFE STRIP road marking technology and how it caters to the need of accurate and real-time info about the road, the environment and the traffic conditions for all types of vehicles (non-equipped, equipped and autonomous). SAFE STRIP aims to improve/create intelligence for in-vehicle apps, define and manage lane-level virtual corridors for automated vehicles, support road predictive maintenance and replace the operation of mainstream expensive infrastructure, like VMS and Toll Stations. Francesco presented the SAFE STRIP cooperative intersection support as intersections are complex and challenging road scenarios where non-equipped vehicle are essentially not considered. Therefore, intersection are a good Use Case to let emerge the benefits of SAFE STRIP technology.

The session finished with a panel discussion and questions from the interested audience which was mainly curious about the actual cost of SAFE STRIP road markings and how it can actually be physically integrated in existing road infrastructure across Europe.