VRUITS First Interest Group Workshop

ERTICO – ITS Europe, 18 September 2013

40 Representatives from various stakeholders took part in the first Vulnerable Road Users (VRU) Interest Group Workshop (IGW) held at the ERTICO offices in Brussels on 18 September 2013. The workshop was organised in collaboration with the iMobility Forum and the iMobility Forum VRU Working Group (VRU WG). The main purpose of the First IWG was to present the results of the accident analysis, VRU user needs and critical scenarios, to get feedback from stakeholders and to prioritise the most interest ITS applications, which will then be further assessed by the VRUITS project.

Stakeholders representing VRU groups, national and European authorities, infrastructure service providers and the ITS related economy, provided their input in the prioritization process of the ITS applications. With the help of questionnaires, workshop participants assessed the individual ITS applications on the market and the upcoming ITS applications for the most critical scenarios involving the major VRU groups (pedestrians, cyclists, powered two wheelers (PTW)).

The VRUITS project, that started in April 2013, places the Vulnerable Road Users (such as pedestrians, cyclists, PTWs, special user groups, elder drivers) in the centre. The project assesses the impact of current and upcoming ITS applications on the safety and mobility of VRUs, identifies how the usability and efficiency of ITS applications can be improved, and recommends which actions have to be taken at a policy level to improve ITS safety and mobility. Both ex-ante and ex-post assessment of the application is performed in order to come to a consolidated set of recommendations.

The workshop was organised in cooperation with the iMobility VRU Working Group. This vertical Working Group of the iMobility Forum targets the improvement of VRU safety, with special focus on active and passive systems, as well as on potential improvements of the combination of both. The role of the VRU WG is horizontal and aims to identify the gaps and future research priorities in areas of VRU safety. Focused research and development initiatives will be promoted but not initiated or funded by the VRU WG. The VRU WG was launched in April 2011 and is an open platform to VRU safety experts interested to share research and development findings in the field. The VRU WG aims at creating a forum encompassing all key stakeholders in the area of Vulnerable Road Users safety enhancement, and at contributing to the specific objectives and targets of the European Commission in the “Horizon 2020” initiative.

In the initial phase of the project prior to the workshop, the main causes of accidents and critical scenarios were identified. During the IGW in Brussels, the participants were divided over three different groups (pedestrians, cyclists or PTWs) according to their expertise/interests. They discussed ITS solutions for two scenarios that were identified in the accident analysis and user needs as the most important ones for the specific user group. Participants were then asked to select the three applications that would have the most potential for VRU safety and rate these ITS solutions based on questionnaires, according to the follow-up criteria: safety, mobility, technical maturity, deployment potential, acceptance, (by VRU, drivers and government authorities), relevance for older people, relevance for people with disabilities, feasibility for children and usability of system interface. In addition they were asked about potential negative side effects of the systems selected. This resulted in a set of 24 systems that the participants considered as the most interesting for further assessment in the VRUITS project. The top 5 of these 24 systems in decreasing order of priority are : blind spot detection, intelligent pedestrian traffic signal, ISA (intelligent speed adaptation), right light camera/speed camera and intersection safety.

According to the experts participating in the IGW, ITS can not only help to avoid road accidents, but can also be a source for new data (sensors gathering data on PTW’s incidents). Furthermore, ITS can also be used for education and training: these systems can help to train novice riders to tackle critical situations.

18 November 2013


Last modified on Thursday, 05 December 2013

Original author: Lina