CORDIS - EU research results

Safety competition for students

Final Report Summary - SAFECOS 05 (Safety competition for students)

The general objective was to organise and support the European part of a worldwide competition for the design, development and demonstration of technological innovations proposed by students with the objective of improving road vehicle safety and users crash protection. It was considered that, in European countries as well as in North America and in Japan, students are not attracted by science and technology.

Every two years, an international technical conference on the enhanced safety of vehicles takes place alternatively in North America, Europe and Asia / Pacific; this conference is attended by representatives of governments, industry and the scientific community and it has become a reference for vehicle safety improvement over the years.

The 19th ESV Conference took place in Washington DC, United States on 6-9 June 2005, and it is planned that the 20th conference will be organised in Europe two years after. Each conference is organised by one of the ESV country members which are: United States and Canada for North America, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom for Europe, and Australia, Japan and South Korea for Asia / Pacific. Taking into account the above statement, and with the view of attracting more young researchers, the ESV international committee has decided to organise a student competition to design, develop and demonstrate technological innovations to improve road vehicle safety and users crash protection.

The aim of this specific support was to organise and support the European part of this competition. This would allow European students to compete with North American, Asian and Australian students. The competition was organised along the same procedure in the three world areas (Europe, North America and Asia / Pacific). For Europe, the information on the competition has been distributed, through EEVC, APSN and IRCOBI mailing lists; to universities through the 25 European countries.

Eleven written proposals were received out of which five were selected by a group of experts belonging to EEVC.

Each selected team was granted a financial support through the SAFECOS05 project to build a (scale) model of its proposal. A jury of three international experts, appointed by EEVC, visited the five teams. Each team presented their project during half a day to those experts who had the opportunity to ask questions to students. Each project was rated using the same criteria including potential benefits, technical feasibility, and innovation degree. Based on the rating results, two projects were selected to be presented during the 18th ESV conference, which took place in Washington D.C. on 6-9 June 2005.

SAFECOS 05 supported the travel of two students of each team to Washington, and their projects were exhibited to compete with five other projects (two from North America, three from Asia / Pacific region). An international jury of nine experts evaluated the seven competing projects during a formal presentation at the exhibition site, using a standard procedure, in order to select the final winner of the competition.

The project: 'Lateral safety for children' presented by the University of Valladolid (Spain) won the competition and the two students were congratulated during the closing session of the conference.