Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

SAVE ME Report Summary

Project ID: 234027
Funded under: FP7-TRANSPORT
Country: United Kingdom

Final Report Summary - SAVE ME (System and actions for vehicles and transportation hubs to support disaster mitigation and evacuation)

Many areas in the world have been, or are likely to be, affected by severe physical disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, whereas fire and floods usually occur as immediate results of these incidents. Natural disasters are becoming more frequent and have obvious impacts on transport operations and infrastructure. One major difficulty that is imposed on the planning of the logistics of private and public transport is the effect of a catastrophic earthquake. On the other hand, fires with the most serious consequences (such as those involving injuries, fatalities or extensive material damage) have mostly been the result of tunnel accidents. Over 200 people have died in Europe as result of tunnel fires in the last decade, 16 fire accidents occurred in road tunnels in Europe from 1986 until 2006. Unfortunately, public transportation fire is also not a rare phenomenon.

In addition to the above, a great menace of our time is terrorism. Transportation infrastructure, hubs and stations are often targets of terrorist attacks because of the easy access and escape for the terrorists and congregations of strangers guarantee the attacker a high degree of anonymity. Crowds in contained environments are also vulnerable to both conventional explosives and unconventional weapons. Moreover, terrorist attacks cause alarm and great disruption whilst previous attacks have caused the deaths of many innocent people.

Physical disasters and terrorism constitute a great and escalating menace to transportation networks, infrastructure and hubs, with increasing emphasis on areas with high concentrations of people, such as public transport terminals / stations and tunnels. The needs of all travellers, as well as the specific needs of the most vulnerable users, i.e. older people, the disabled and children, need to be integrated into any disaster mitigation system from its initial design phase. Furthermore, their specific behaviours, speed of movement and mobility limitations must be included in any human behaviour models. Rescuers also need precise information on the situation, seamless communication between them and the operations centre and proper guidance to help them reach the trapped travellers.

To help mitigate the impacts of such events in the future and support rescue operations, the SAVE ME project has developed a system to detect disaster events in public transport terminals / vehicles and critical infrastructures (i.e. tunnels and bridges) and supports quick and optimal mass evacuation guidance, to save the lives of the general public and the rescuers, giving particular emphasis to the most vulnerable travellers. The needs of all passengers are taken into account, with a particular focus on older people, disabled and children, i.e. the most vulnerable traveller groups. Rescue teams and operation personnel are provided with accurate and prioritised information to help them rescue those most in danger, minimising the time they themselves are exposed to the dangerous situations at hand.

Ultimately, the SAVE ME system is an assistive technological product which is designed to promote self-evacuation solutions (where relevant), as well as support the actions of experienced and expertly-trained personnel, but is never intended to completely replace the human element of managing an emergency event.

Project context and objectives:

SAVE ME developed a system that detects disaster events in public transport terminals / vehicles and critical infrastructures (i.e. tunnels and bridges) and supports quick and optimal mass evacuation guidance, to save the lives of the general public and the rescuers, giving particular emphasis to the most vulnerable travellers. The needs of all passengers are taken into account, with a particular focus on older people, disabled and children, i.e. the most vulnerable traveller groups.

The SAVE ME main objectives that were initially set and have been actually satisfied are as follows:

1. to identify the actual problems and needs of all travellers and stakeholders in dealing with various physical disaster or terrorism events;
2. to devise specific use cases and application scenarios, covering all the project application areas (metro terminal, platform and vehicle and tunnel) for all types of emergencies considered (earthquake, fire and terrorist attack);
3. to develop a holistic system architecture, that will allow inclusion of different elements and modules, as well as a common ontological architecture for hazards recognition, cause, severity and mitigation;
4. to specify the systems and their modules for in-time detection and to develop the needed sensors (for detection, localisation, and situation awareness), as well as the appropriate telecommunication infrastructure;
5. to investigate all users' behaviour (including emotions and stress) during panic situations, leading to the development of appropriate interfaces to inform the public, avoiding the cause of havoc and stress (including vulnerable travellers);
6. to develop algorithms, based on intelligent agents, for personalisation of the information provision to the needs of each user (e.g. simple visual information for elderly users, or sound notification for visually-impaired users);
7. to develop a decision support system (DSS), based upon dynamic and closed-loop simulation and modelling tools, with real time data;
8. to offer support to the infrastructure operators;
9. to offer guidance to the rescue crew through personal digital assistants (PDAs);
10. to offer guidance to the public through their mobile devices, as well as through public terminals and announcements;
11. to develop training programmes (methodology, curricula and tools) for the infrastructure operators, the emergency units personnel and the general public, to optimise their performance during emergencies;
12. to install and test the SAVE ME system in two pilot sites (in the underground station and metro vehicles of NEXUS in Newcastle in the United Kingdom and the Gotthard tunnel in Switzerland), in order to evaluate its reliability, usability, usefulness, efficiency and market viability;
13. to develop concise exploitation and dissemination plans for the successful and efficient adoption of SAVE ME products;
14. to contribute to the standardisation activities that are being undertaken by national, European and International bodies, on infrastructure properties and evacuation aids.

The main project outcomes are described in the following sections. It has been proven that SAVE ME can make a difference, since it actually reduces the evacuation time of the generic, average travellers from 2 to 20 % (having higher impact to those that are slower in deciding what to do and in moving towards the right exit); whereas it is expected to have a much higher impact to saving vulnerable citizens with mobility or other problems (i.e. reduction of 38 % in evacuation time calculated for wheelchair users).

Another added value of the SAVE ME system regards how SAVE ME-like system may improve the work of rescuers, in order to further reduce the overall evacuation time, and save the lives of trapped travellers. The benefits were identified by participants involved in the training and the project pilots, particularly because of the availability of indoor location, of a synthetic three-dimensional (3D) representation on a map of what was going on. Following the SAVE ME trials and final workshop, a number of additional potential markets for SAVE ME capability have been identified, whilst novel input to standardisation bodies has also been distributed.

Project results:

Work performed and achieved scientific and technological results

1. User needs, clustering and SAVE ME use cases

At the project start, the different target user groups have been examined, composed of average travellers, vulnerable travellers and rescue / emergency response personnel. Also, a clustering of the incident types and the incident environments has been performed. The main incident environments categories are: bus, metro, train, special transportation infrastructure.

Accidents statistics of various disaster types and places are reported, covering all possible areas of interest for SAVE ME. Human-made and natural disasters have been included. Emphasis was on transport-related accidents, including vehicles, terminals, underground, tunnels. Analysis of after-incident severity probability is also discussed. As stakeholders, the travellers, the professional rescue crews and the infrastructure / emergency unit operators have been considered. Their needs have been identified through a bibliographical references review (around 30 documents: articles, papers, reports, books, and deliverables from other projects), a questionnaire-based survey (with input from 6 countries: Italy, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Germany and Greece), and a focus group held in Newcastle. Finally, the first SAVE ME international workshop provided important input.

Furthermore, interviews were realised in six different countries (United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Spain, Greek and Switzerland) with vulnerable travellers (children, older people and disabled). Information that can be extracted is about identifying the passenger problems and improve the rescue success in case of a disaster situation. In total 123 people have been interviewed.

Finally, based on the above findings on problems and gaps identified, the project Use cases have been developed (through various steps) along with the Unified modelling language (UML) diagram per UC. The use cases are classified as primary, secondary or supportive. In total, there are 62 UCs, clustered under 12 main categories. The relation of the rescue team / travellers needs and SoA to the use cases has been proven. All the above work and relevant results are reported in deliverable 1.1 that has been submitted to the European Commission (EC). Work package (WP) 1 has been concluded successfully.

2. System architecture and common ontological framework

The SAVE ME architecture has been built and delivered within WP2. All design decisions have been guided by the system requirements, as described by the use cases, defined in D1.1. The added value of SAVE ME architecture is that it is an open and extendable, easily adaptable architecture to various frameworks. Moreover, as part of the modules and sensors specification task, an expanded failure mode and effects analysis (EFMEA) methodology was applied to SAVE ME. This analysis resulted in a set of different types of risks for each module of SAVE ME that may appear during the course of the project. Appropriate mitigation actions, should any of the identified risk appears, have also been identified.

Finally, an important part of the work carried out was the definition of a common ontological framework in the domain of transportation disasters and related incidents. The main aim was to provide a common vocabulary for the domain(s) that SAVE ME project targets. This vocabulary is a key outcome as it will support the automatic guidance of the rescue team members, as all the details of the event will be identified on time, eliminating the possibility of errors. This will allow the communication centre and rescuers to organise the appropriate moves and act optimally. The ontological clustering is based primarily on the disaster type, which is classified as either Human-made disasters or Natural disasters.

For both the above disaster types, the following fields have been analysed: severity, incident environment, number of affected persons, probability, mitigation.

The ontological framework of SAVE ME has been sent to the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) body and discussions are underway for inclusion in existing relevant standard or creation of a new one. D2.1 addresses all the above work and achievements, i.e. the critical components that compose the SAVE ME system, providing information for their interaction in all architectural layers (communication, logical and physical).

3. Intelligent agents and user interfaces

In SAVE ME, the range of behaviours that need to be taken into account when designing a technical system to aid travellers in emergency situations have been reviewed. Based upon the results of this research, the basic user interface concepts were crafted for the project applications (to support the operators, rescue teams, the public and individual travellers). The term user interface is defined as the sum of all aspects of a technical system that the user comes in contact with - be it conceptually, communicatively or physically. Thus, the SAVE ME user interfaces include all the perceivable aspects of the mobile applications (visual, auditive, haptical), the collective herding guidance, and even the overall organisation of the rescue process. Finally, the service personalisation platform has been defined, which is a necessary requirement for the provision of optimal information to the most vulnerable SAVE ME users: mobility-impaired people or travellers with perceptual limitations.

The psychological foundations of user behaviour have been researched empirically. The main difficulty in this area was that emergency situations cannot be produced in a laboratory context - they can only be simulated, as well as possible. First of all, a literature analysis has been performed, which provided insights into what is known about the evacuation situations, stress, mass panic, crowd communication and competitive versus collaborative and even altruistic behaviour of evacuees. This is important in all areas of design but especially for the 'collective herding guidance'. Also, a laboratory experiment has been carried out at the COAT premises. The stress level of the participants was manipulated using a socially stressing task: a virtual speech. Afterwards, the participants had to master different types of virtual labyrinths, containing more or less stressing factors. Physiological stress factors (heart rate, cortisol, skin conductance level, eye movements, and respiration) were measured. As a result of these experiments, it was found that the mitigation concept should attempt to keep travellers at a medium stress level during evacuation.

Additionally, the SAVE ME consortium took advantage of having the Italian fire fighters Corps in the consortium and conducted another laboratory experiment at their training facility in Montelibretti, Italy. Labyrinths were mounted in the tunnel, which the participants had to master using either installed guidance or a mobile phone guidance similar to the one being developed in SAVE ME. These extra efforts proved their worth as we could show that with mobile guidance only, participants took significantly longer to escape through the same labyrinth. D3.1 describes the above tests and results.

Furthermore, the user-interaction concepts for the SAVE ME applications were designed. First, a state-of-the-art analysis of existing HMIs, icons, and earcons, has been performed, taking into account both, existing standards, and research and development efforts towards emergency and indoor navigation, handheld emergency systems. Interviews with end users at the Gotthard Tunnel and at the Nexus Control Centre of the Tyne & Wear metro system were done to specify the mitigation strategies. The SAVE ME mitigation strategies were designed and approved by the respective pilot partners. Based on this work, the storybooks of the mobile traveller guidance concepts were written. The results of this work feed directly into the development process of SAVE ME applications.

Finally, an agent platform has been developed. The main task of these agents is to enable communication between the DSS and the end-user applications. It makes it possible to have each user provided with the information that serves him / her best. D3.2 presents in detail the achievements described above.

4. Detection systems

The suitable sensors to detect the location of people and events in the tunnel and the metro station were identified, based on which the detection system and sub-systems were developed. This included the design and testing of hardware components, software development and the evaluation of alternatives in terms of components, libraries and operating systems to be used.

Environmental sensing is provided using a wireless sensor network (WSN) solution. The information is collected by a network of sensor and is transmitted to the central system, the DSS. Sensor nodes were distributed in the demo sites (tunnel and metro) and use a specialised protocol to transmit the information. The information is then collected and sent via the WSN server to the DSS. The detailed software and hardware configurations of the detection sensors module and their application at the demo sites are described in D4.1.

In the context of SAVE ME, three separate robust localisation systems have been developed that target different user groups (passengers localisation for metro and tunnel environments, rescuers localisation for metro and rescuers localisation for tunnel). All developments are described in D4.2.

Regarding the telecommunication infrastructure, the model built is based on low cost ad-hoc Wi-Fi routers able to manage Bluetooth with pre-installed and automatic upgradable emergency software. These routers become active when an emergency is detected and have to be installed in vehicles and stations as black boxes. The added value of the SAVE ME communication system is that its components are autonomous in power and the system can be automatically reconfigured in case a router gets out of order during an emergency. All the developments on the telecommunication module are described in D4.3, together with the evaluation process, including the different tests that have been carried out in order to assure the correct performance of the infrastructure.

5. DSS and simulation tool

The DSS is responsible to determine personalised and group-wised evacuation routes according to various performance criteria (e.g. distance, flow of movement, time and environmental conditions) and constitutes the core part of the SAVE ME system regarding the communication with other system components. Regarding personalised evacuation routes, the DSS system is able to provide specific routes suitable for different traveller profiles and according to the aforementioned criteria.

Moreover, in case of trapped / injured travellers, the DSS computes also a rescue plan for the rescue team. The functionality with the highest priority is this for the personalised evacuation plan which means that the DSS secures the evacuation of the most vulnerable travellers before doing anything else. For example, stairs are a more difficult, if not impossible, means for a wheelchair user than for a blind one. This information is then used from the DSS to apply the optimisation algorithms in different graphs / networks describing specific groups of people. Of course, all this information has to be checked from an experienced person, the operator. The operator is the person (or a group of people) who has to evaluate the computed tours for the personalised and the groupwise evacuation and the overall plan for the rescue team. After and only after his acceptation the routes can be forwarded to either the travellers or to the rescuers.

A real graph was realised for the two (out of the three) floors of the Monument metro station in Newcastle, in order to test the DSS functionality. This model was the first test-bed in which the developed optimisation algorithms were evaluated.

Finally, it should be noticed that the SAVE ME DSS delivers a flexible and modular architecture which allows different techniques and implementations to be employed for evacuation planning. The design principles were chosen such as existing components do not have to be changed principally but only extended by encapsulated SAVE ME specific functionalities or additional, new applications. The straight object-orientated approach and the use of well-known design patterns and as well standardised technologies have the potential to lead to a widely accepted approach also outside of SAVE ME project. Detailed description of the DSS and its core modules, namely the prioritisation module, the group-wise evacuation planer along with enhanced personalised evacuation plan algorithms that take into account the end-user profile and the evaluation progress can be found in deliverable 5.2.

A crowd simulation calculates in real time the predicted movements and speed of the travellers. The DSS in turn uses this information to optimise the guidance to travellers, with the goal of reducing casualties and increasing the speed of evacuation. In the preceding years, virtual replicas of two pilot sites (Monument metro station in Newcastle and Gotthard Tunnel in Switzerland) had been created in a virtual environment, but as the pilot site of Gotthard tunnel was replaced by the Colle Capretto tunnel in Italy, a virtual representation for the former was also developed

6. Emergency support measures

A module for the operator support has been developed. The general layout of the application has been realised in Hypertext markup language (HTML) format. The final version of the module (tested in the pilots) has been implemented as an app for iPad which supports the operators to manage the rescue system, resulting in a great improvement of safety. Both these tasks are important achievements of the project. While the HTML-interface gives rather a glimpse of opportunities for future development, the iPad implementation shows that SAVE ME can work easily today, within other systems already installed.

For the rescue team, guidance is provided through PDA. The prototype module is to be installed on mobile devices. The rescue team application is an important outcome of SAVE ME, as it permits the exchange of messages among the rescue teams involved in an emergency, and also between the teams and the control centre, thus it supports an effective evacuation. PDAs are used to guide rescue operators during an emergency situation, and show information like the location of the incident, position of other rescue teams, position of trapped travellers. The application has been developed for the Android browser (although it works perfectly on any other modern browser that can be found on a mobile device). The rescue team guidance module details can be found in deliverable 6.2.

The Individualistic guidance application of SAVE ME is provided to the travellers through their mobile phones and it supports all the today's mobile platforms used by the majority of the mobile phone holders, i.e. it has been developed for three mobile phone platforms: Symbian, Android and iPhone OS. Thus, it covers a wide range of devices, from cheap and simple to more advanced and expensive ones. When an emergency occurs, the application displays an alert message. Depending on the type of the emergency, the colour of the background could vary:

- blue: low severity emergency;
- green: medium severity emergency;
- red: high severity emergency.

There are two buttons on the screen, with the following functionalities:

- Hazard info: By pressing this button, the user can get a summary of the emergency, i.e. emergency type, the place of the emergency or some general advice.
- Escape info: The user should press the 'Escape info' button in order to get information about the route he / she should follow in order to evacuate the building with safety.

The developed Android application supported all the released Android versions at the time, from 1.5 (donut) to the then latest version 2.3 (gingerbread). When a message or an alert is detected by the SAVE ME system, the Android application will rely on the existing modalities in order to get the user attention: vibration, alert or information sound and the appearing screen message will serve to make sure the user heeds the information given to him. When a user is blind, the device will automatically enable its screen reader to read out the escape directions to the user. This application has two modes of operation: Normal mode and Alerted mode. The user is not able to switch between modes. The devices that will support the SAVE ME iPhone platform application are iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS. D6.3 includes information for all the three mobile-phone based platforms.

For the collective herding guidance, two innovative systems were designed and implemented: the lighting path incorporated in the WSN at the tunnel pilot site, and a system of displayed arrows indicated the escape path for the more complex situation of the metro station. The light information helps in guiding people in an evacuation situation, by creating a guidance light evacuation path. For the tunnel, a final hardware solution has been produced by mounting two couples of white-orange light emitting diodes (LEDs) on each WSN device. As for the metro solution, it has been decided to use iPads (as a proxy for dynamic information screens) to display arrows in order to provide the collective guidance (due to limited installation issues, removable devices were required, hence the use of iPads). The module has been integrated into the SAVE ME map representation and correctly displays the escape route according to the evacuation plan generated by the DSS. All the relevant developments are presented in detail in D6.4.

7. Training measures

Training curricula and content for the infrastructure operators, rescuers and general public has been developed. The training for the infrastructure operator provides the SAVE ME operators and the key actors with adequate information through training curricula and content, about the use of the SAVE ME system in real cases. To this end, a virtual reality (VR) system that simulates the entire SAVE ME infrastructure has been implemented, while at the same time real time feedback of the emergency situation will be given.

The VR platform is also able to support a number of 'bots' (travellers) that may move within the pilot site based either on simulated data or real localisation data. The final version of the SAVE ME 3D VR viewer allows end-users to navigate the virtual world by simple keypress interactions. Using the arrow keys on the keyboard, end-users can move forwards, backwards, left, or right. They may choose, using the menus, to 'Run' or 'Walk' or even, to 'Fly' through the scene during the training phase. Several training and exercises / scenarios have been provided for using them during the training of the infrastructure operators. In total, four different but complementary scenarios have been defined. Each scenario is accompanied with an enriched set of exercises towards enabling the operators to get a depth insight on the functionalities that are available via the corresponding toolsets implemented in SAVE ME project.

The emergency team training provides the emergency teams with adequate information on the functionality of SAVE ME, through training curricula and content. Professionals in emergency units will be instructed on the proper use of their alerting and support device and their specific indications. The training curriculum includes systems and components description, technical characteristics, PDA applications, system limitations. Also, specific exercises and scenarios are defined. Twenty four rescue team members (17 firemen from Roma, Perugia, Terni, Torino, 5 firemen from the Gotthard tunnel and 2 policemen from Terni) have been trained. At the end of the training, a training certificate was issued per participant.

Finally, general public training measures have been developed in SAVE ME. The difficult thing about this type of training is that there are few or no possibilities to train people on how to behave or on how to reduce the response time in case of emergency. In order to achieve the project aims, the available tools and media have been evaluated for each pilot site, in order to reach the widest range of travellers. Moreover, for each category of traveller, the most suitable way to communicate with the travellers has been identified, and then correlated with the available communication means. The following actors have been identified: commuters / frequent travellers, occasional travellers, children (5 - 14 years old), visually impaired passengers, auditory impaired passengers, motor impaired passengers, cognitive impaired passengers (i.e. low level of impairment - language capability).

For each travel category, the most relevant information component has been analysed, according to the following categorisation: information support on the move / on the train, information support at the service area / at the station, preventive information.

At the beginning of the project, a pilot site (and the corresponding case study) for each category was identified:

(a) Gotthard Tunnel for the road transport;
(b) The Monument metro station of Newcastle for rail transport.

Therefore, a thorough analysis of both sites has been conducted in order to identify the most suitable means and tools already available in each site. However, the pilot site for the road transport has changed to the Colle Capretto tunnel in Italy and the analysis carried out for the Gotthard tunnel has been reviewed according to the characteristics of the new site, and the case study was adapted accordingly. The analysis has led to the definition of the most suitable tools and means to provide the travellers with the most relevant information according to their specific characteristics (i.e. impaired travellers, children) and the characteristics of the environment (either tunnel or metro station).

In order to prove the effectiveness of the general public training strategy and material, 6 posters and 50 leaflets have been designed and printed in order to quickly provide the basic information to the travellers in the Newcastle metro station. The same layout has been employed for the leaflets and the poster.

The general public training has been tested in the Monument metro station during the trial with 21 users. The basic information provided in the posters and in the leaflets has taken into consideration three topics:

(i) 'What SAVE ME is about';
(ii) 'How to install and setup the system';
(iii) 'What to remember in case of an emergency'.

For the individual guidance application (on the mobile phone) the focus has been on the installation instructions on the mobile phone, for all the supported platforms (Symbian, Android, iPhone). All the above work and achievements on the training measures and material are reported in D7.1.

8. Pilot testing

The pilot testing and evaluation procedure followed within SAVE ME has been explicitly defined and described in the 'Pilots plans document (D8.1). A common evaluation framework is defined, divided into two broad categories, technical evaluation of the underlying technologies and systems, and the non-technical evaluation of human factors and user acceptance. A detailed description of the two SAVE ME pilot sites and their characteristics, as well as background issues affecting each of the pilot sites were analysed to illustrate and contextualise how the SAVE ME system can play a beneficial role in the safety of travellers. Also, the data collection methods, the expected impacts of the SAVE ME system components, and their anticipated level of impact and various evaluation metrics needed to assess the overall SAVE ME system and the various test scenarios. Finally, information for the laboratory pilots is included in the above mentioned document. Lab-based tests were carried out as a debugging step before the final pilot tests were realised, to ensure that any technological errors and bugs are eliminated.

During the project, nine lab tests and two real pilots have been conducted. The former were meant to test and evaluate the single elements of the system, while the latter were planned to test the overall system. The pilot trials in the Colle Capretto road tunnel involved 40 travellers, 20 rescuers, 5 infrastructure operators and 4 road police operators. Despite some technical issues which occurred during the trials, the final perception of the SAVE ME system was, in general, a positive one. The pilot in Monument metro station in Newcastle involved 21 travellers, 1 rescuer and 1 infrastructure operator (due to these trials having to take place overnight, it proved harder to recruit as many individuals as for the Colle Capretto Road Trials which were held during the daytime). Whilst the system was early on in its technological development process, all participants were able to appreciate the potential benefits and assistive qualities afforded by the technologies provided by the SAVE ME system.

Key evaluation findings follow below per pilot site were:

At the Colle Capretro tunnel pilot, several users spontaneously looked for familiar indicators (lights, sign posts) and some even refused to consider instructions given by mobile devices. Nevertheless, those who were prepared to make the best use of such new evacuation tools (there were some in both experiments) found their way out much quicker than others, sometimes even acting as leaders of spontaneously formed groups. No detailed evacuation times were able to be calculated, mainly due to some technical bags and system failure for some users (early SAVE ME system prototypes evaluation, before final debugging).

At the Newcastle metro pilot, the overall SAVE ME system was robustly tested in full for the first time in a real-world environment, thus it worked as a very challenging preliminary test for the second pilot in Newcastle, and the lessons learnt from the first pilot allowed the optimal conducting of the second. Thus for the evaluation of the system we have used the data collected in Newcastle. The first run in Newcastle provided the baseline to be compared with the second run: in the first run the participants were not provided with the SAVE ME system, and they were asked to use the existing signs (but they were provided with the localisation devices in order to be monitored and keep track of their position and behaviour), while in the second they were provided with the overall SAVE ME system.

By using the localisation system log-files, we calculated that in the first run the participants (including vulnerable and disabled travellers) took (on average) 208 seconds to get to the closest safe exit, with the fastest taking 104 seconds and the slowest 329 seconds. In the second run we calculated an average evacuation time of 175 seconds, where the fastest took 102 seconds and the slowest 267 seconds. Therefore, we can state that the slower the traveller, the more effective the SAVE ME system.

According to the measurements, the added value of the SAVE ME system is particularly relevant for the vulnerable users in dynamic conditions (e.g. when the static indications may fail and / or show the wrong direction for some categories of travellers, such as disabled people, that cannot escape via the stairs). In fact, in the first run (without the SAVE ME system), 3 'simulated' wheelchair travellers took (on average) 300 seconds to get to their safe exit, in order to be saved by the rescue team, while in the second run the system supported them (3 different participants) in finding the safe exit, and they took in average 187 seconds. This means that SAVE ME actually reduces the evacuation time of generic population from 2 to 20 % (supporting more those that are slower in deciding what to do and in moving towards the right exit); whereas it is expected to have a much higher impact to saving vulnerable citisens with mobility or other problems (i.e. reduction of 38% in evacuation time calculated for wheelchair users). It should furthermore be noticed that any traveller may become a 'temporary vulnerable traveller' if he / she is trapped or injured during an emergency event.

The importance of the system has been particularly highlighted in complex and dynamic conditions, when the travellers and the rescuers are not familiar with the environment (then the former have to be provided with a personalised guidance, while the latter have even to be trained to preventively know the facility they have never been before); the emergency can evolve by changing the environment (such as suddenly close the way to an exit that was considered as safe); the presence of vulnerable users (disable, older people, children) requires the use of a personalised guidance different from the evacuation route planned for travellers with no disabilities. The relevance of the SAVE ME system is also given by the innovation of the modules it is comprises. All consolidated tests results and feedback by the tests participants are reported in detail in D8.2.

Another added value of the SAVE ME system regards how SAVE ME-like system may improve the work of rescuers, in order to further reduce the overall evacuation time, and save the lives of trapped travellers. In this case, the benefits were clearly felt by those first responders involved in the training and the trials, particularly because of the availability of indoor location, of a synthetic 3D representation on a map of what was going on. The users also provided enthusiastic feedback on our developed 3D tool for training, suggesting that it should become a standard tool for briefing the first responders, even along their way to the site.

9. Ethics, guidelines and standards

An ethic handbook was prepared early on in the project (D9.1) that defines the ethics code of conduct of research within SAVE ME. Key ethical and legal issues have been identified. Two basic ethical issues are related to the project conduct. Firstly within the performance and set up of the pilots and the training of different user groups the comfort and safety of all participants had to be guaranteed, as well as the security and legal issues of their personal data (e.g. related to their special needs and localisation). Specific guidelines from the European forum for good clinical practice are given in this manual to the ethical and legal issues for vulnerable users. The second ethical issue concerns the project developments as a whole, in a way that guarantees the security enhancement of travellers and avoids the creation of barriers to their ability to travel, as well as the protection of their personal data (location, routing), as long as no emergency appears.

During the project pilot tests, all the participants were informed that they are able to leave the trial at any time and signed a consent form. Personal information was deleted after the project end. In addition, for both the Newcastle metro and Colle Capretto tunnel trials, participants were provided with a warm and comfortable place to wait prior to the trials taking place, including the provision of refreshments. During the trials, all participants were carefully monitored by SAVE ME personnel and any issues or problems were dealt with as quickly as possible. In the case of the metro trials, taxis were pre-ordered to ensure that all participants were safely returned home at the end of the trials.

One of the last actions before the project's end was the building of an inventory of relevant legislation, guidelines and standards in EU, related to safety in transportation. In addition, based on the entire design and development process and finally the results of the project, relevant guidelines have been extracted in order to set a reference for future emergency management systems related to SAVE ME. Based on input from the project pilots more than 20 guidelines for the implementation of the SAVE ME system were collated along with recommended standardisation actions for: WSN localisation, modelling and simulation, symbologies / icon design, tunnel directives, ontologies and training and certification curricula.

These guidelines and standardisation actions are of critical importance in the provision of a safety system for the travelling public, especially if SAVE ME is to be adopted across multiple sites and have been disseminated for consideration in key areas. Standardisation bodies, including UITP have been contacted. UITP is in a position to provide comment on the findings from the SAVE ME research. CERTH / HIT has sent the SAVE ME ontologies to key persons in ISO standardisation committee, for which a positive interest has been shown and continuation of discussions is ongoing.

Furthermore, CERTH has distributed the extracted guidelines and specifications of SAVE ME in the European Research Area network (ERANET) 'Transport' (ENT). The response from ERA-NET contact person was immediate and the project results have been transferred to the appropriate persons in the network, dealing with SAVE ME issues. CERTH plans to chaise this up and establish a continuous communication with ERANET, aiming at the potential adoption and extension of SAVE ME services at the transportation and safety areas. D9.7 presents the relevant results.

Potential impact:

Potential impact on its industry or research sector - a societal approach

Public transportation is critical to each nation's transportation system and is essential to the economic and social quality of life of the citizens. So systems and technologies have to increase the level of protection of the transport system's users giving apparently special attention to the most vulnerable ones. Another important issue is that a large percentage of users are facing various mobility difficulties and apparently is expected to be in an extremely anguished situation in disaster events.

The preparation of subway and tunnel systems to deal with terrorist chemical or biological agent attacks is an important and difficult problem. In essence, the problem is that subway systems are unprepared for the detection of physical disaster incidents, terrorist attacks as well as the quick and optimal mass evacuation. Early warning, rapid response, and engineered mitigation methods can save many lives in such an incident. Uncontrolled crowds and poor management of crowds have been known to lead to emergency and panic situations - deaths and injuries have often resulted from such situations. Tools and models are required to study behaviour in emergency and panic situations. A well-prepared system can significantly reduce the impacts of an attack and may discourage such attacks from taking place.

Thus, SAVE ME innovation lies on the critical issue of disaster mitigation and mass evacuation. SAVE ME offers advanced emergency planning before the incident occurs, as well as advanced emergency management after the disaster event. SAVE ME developments are expected to have major strategic impact in the area of evacuation systems considering the innovations below:

- the standardisation and automation of communications and key actors interfaces, through the use of SAVE ME ontological framework, will minimise errors and response time;
- the rapid and accurate response in case of disaster, facilitated by SAVE ME detection and communication infrastructure, will minimise casualties;
- the better preparedness and rescue teams coordination, through the SAVE ME DSS and its much improved dynamic simulation model, will optimise disaster mitigation and operator control of the situation;
- the individualised guidance of SAVE ME through mobile phone information to each traveller regarding the best escape route for him / her and point by point guidance and intuitive (by standardised icons, earcons and haptic elements), will avoid panic reactions and help people to remain calm and thus escape the danger;
- the proposed training, guidelines and policies will lead to improvements of the security level of PT hubs, vehicles and critical infrastructure.

Detection, warning and response, the three dimensions of SAVE ME could be the keywords for every novel technological or research innovation as they are critical for saving the lives of the general public. The project introduces an advanced system for detection and protection. Its innovation emphasises on the human factor as it gives attention to impulsive reactions to physical or not disaster events.

An economic quantitative assessment

Economic damages from natural disasters are enormous. In transport, economic damages are typically of several million Euro per disaster (from EUR 1.2 million for Gotthard in the 1997 fire, to EUR 155 million in Mont Blanc incident in 1999). After each catastrophe within a transportation infrastructure, hub or vehicle, rebuilding and future-proofing measures take place which have an equally high cost. For example, after the Tauern tunnel fire in Austria (1999), the costs of the measures taken were:

- reconstruction measures: approximately EUR 5.8 million;
- improvement measures: approximately EUR 2.2 million;
- maintenance measures brought forward: approximately EUR 0.7 million;
- to these costs must also be added the loss in income from tolls, which is estimated at approximately EUR 19 million.

It was possible to reopen the tunnel to traffic on August 1999, approximately 3 months after the fire occurred.

In addition, the very big and significant cost of human life lost should be noted (in fact it is priceless, but conservatively being estimated to EUR 1 - 2 million per person by various European countries). Obviously, it is much better to add much more cost efficient to act proactively. To invest in a relatively low cost technology, such as SAVE ME, in order to protect infrastructures of several millions of Euro and moreover hundreds of human lives within them can only be an economically justified investment. In addition, economic benefit is expected to be further created by increased travellers' attraction: Innovative solutions that could deal with issues of high importance such as human integrity and safety will primarily be acceptable and obviously expected to attract developers' and travellers' interest. Creation of jobs and wealth: the proposed new services and products for disaster mitigation are expected to invite for new investments in several transportation infrastructures on advanced technologies and systems, thus creating gains for the European Industry and especially SMEs-installers, operators and maintainers of these infrastructures.

Project website: http://www.save-me.eu

Related information

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UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
Old Library Building
NE1 7RU NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE
United Kingdom
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Subjects

Transport
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