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FP6

PREVENT — Result In Brief

Project ID: 507075
Funded under: FP6-IST
Country: Germany

On the road to reducing accidents

Rising traffic volumes are posing increasing demands on a driver's attention. The EU-funded project Prevent concentrated on accelerating the use of intelligent systems which will assist with driving and enhance road safety for all road users.
On the road to reducing accidents
It won't be long before cars start communicating with each other and with the traffic environment. Car safety systems will monitor drivers and warn them of dangers ahead, preventing crashes and intervening if necessary. This would mean fewer car accidents and less work for 'guardian angels'.

But new technology has to pass stringent practicability tests before it can be applied safely on the roads. Furthermore, the transition period can be years, if not decades, if the purchase price of necessary equipment is high. The Prevent project focused on innovative active safety technologies and tried to speed up their deployment on European roads.

For this purpose, researchers combined forces with European automotive industry players such as DaimlerChrysler, Audi and BMW, as well as automotive suppliers. They developed, tested and evaluated a wide range of crash prevention technologies based on the use of sensors and communications devices.

These include adaptive cruise control helping drivers maintain sufficient distance between neighbouring cars, and electronic stability control, which prevents skidding. Such onboard technologies are all examples of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), as they offer an extra set of eyes and ears for a driver.

Over the last decade, advances in information and communications technologies (ICT) have further widened the scope for ADAS. The Prevent project brought Europe's research efforts to develop ICT-based automotive safety systems under a single umbrella.

To boost the uptake of ADAS and help manufacturers navigate the complex legal aspects coming with these technologies, a European 'code of practice' was drawn up. The Prevent project also devoted efforts to raise awareness among consumers and decision-makers of the potential benefits and availability of ICT-based solutions.

In a bid to communicate with the public, the Prevent project held the Icar event in September 2007, a successful exhibition of the latest results of European ICT research for smarter and safer cars. It aimed at the public to promote the full range of ICT-based technologies for road vehicles, including driver assistance systems and cooperative systems.

'The EU must spread this good news among consumers and continue to put pressure on stakeholders to ensure Europeans benefit from these winning technologies sooner rather than later,' said Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for the Information Society and Media, at the Icar event.

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