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Measures for behaving safely in traffic

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - MeBeSafe (Measures for behaving safely in traffic)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2020-05-01 do 2020-10-31

MeBeSafe focuses on behavioural feedback measures provided to vehicle drivers & cyclists, with the objective of stimulating safer behaviour in traffic situations with elevated risk, making users better preserve safety margins. Nudging measures allow for choosing freely between different behaviours, but the choice is presented to predispose users towards making a desired choice in the immediate situation. Coaching interventions aim for educating people towards adopting safer behaviour. The overall objectives of the project include getting drivers to take a break when drowsy, making them use ADAS to prevent close following, making them more attentive to potential hazards, achieve behavioural change via car- & HGV-driver coaching, prompting drivers & cyclists to reduce their speed in hazardous road sections, & guiding them along a safe trajectory.
In WP1, an integrated framework was developed
WPs 2-4 focused on the development of in-vehicle nudging measures (2), infrastructure nudging measures (3) and coaching measures (4) according to the design guidelines of the integrated framework. Expected behaviour was deducted based on literature, driving simulators and simulations and laboratory testing was used where applicable. The results fed into the field trials (WP5). Final results are summed up in the following:

For O1 - driver alertness feedback, drivers were provided with an additional incentive to stop and take a break when the Driver Alert Control (DAC) system indicated that a break would be beneficial (high levels of drowsiness detected). Results from field trial showed a clear positive effect on driver behaviour. The proportion of drivers who stopped within 20 minutes after getting a DAC drowsiness warning nearly doubled in the treatment phase.

For O2 - usage of safety ADAS to prevent close following, drivers were provided with nudging that consisted of different types of visual in-vehicle feedback on the extent to which they were using Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) while driving. Two types of visual feedback were tried: A) an Ambient Display concept and B) a Competitive Leaderboard concept. Both concepts had significant effects on driver behaviour and increased ACC usage levels

For O3 - Attention to potential hazards (i.e. to improve timely attention to a forecasted hazard in intersections), drivers received a nudge at unsignalized intersections to direct their attention towards areas of the intersection where view obstructions would hide a possibly approaching bicyclist. The nudge was successful in enhancing visual attention toward relevant areas of the intersection and in making drivers proactively reduce speed, which improves the situational safety margins.

Coaching ACC Usage:
For O4 - behavioural change through online private driver coaching, experience from previous studies of non-users showed that reluctance to use ACC often stem from uncertainties about how to activate it and about what to expect if one does. For this, an app-based coaching concept was developed where drivers are talked through how to activate ACC while driving, and what to expect from the car in each step. The outcome of pilots in 3 different countries of those pilots was successful. All drivers who participated in the Objective 2 field trial, including those not using ACC in Baseline, used ACC in Treatment, making further coaching obsolete.

Coaching Truck Drivers:
For O5 - HGV driver behavioural change through online coaching, two fleets of company drivers were recruited. However, the field trial start was delayed until late February 2020. This placed the field trial start right at the onset of the corona pandemic, which severely affected both the two companies recruited for the field trial and the traffic environment in which they normally drive. While data indicates that the app was both well received and used by the drivers, and that peer-to-peer coaching is a viable approach, today we cannot conclude whether coaching does change HGV driver behaviour or not.

Infrastructure Measures – Infrastructure Driver Nudge:
For O6 & O7 - Safe speed/trajectory on inter-urban roads, roadside marking lights were installed in such a way that drivers who entered an exit lane at speeds above a predefined threshold could be exposed to systematically varying light patterns along the lane. Overall, N = 727,299 vehicles drove through the field test location, of which 67.2 % fulfilled nudging criteria. Vehicles slowed down significantly when being nudged by the nudging system, reducing the ratio of speeding drivers by up to 40 %.

Infrastructure Measures – Cyclist Nudge:
For O8 - Cyclists’ speed reduction, field trials involved cyclists passing two test sites implemented in Gothenburg, Sweden, and cyclists who passed a test site implemented in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Passing cyclists were visually nudged by transverse lines on the bicycle lane that got closer to each other as the distance to the respective intersection decreased. 9-17% more cyclists in Gothenburg reduced their speed in treatment depending on location and other factors. esults from the Dutch study however indicated no significant change from the before and after nudge-implementation.

In the most realistic impact estimation scenario, MeBeSafe measures together address 0,9 % of all fatally injured persons. That corresponds to 189 fatalities annually by 2025 and 366 fatalities (1.9 %) annually by 2030. In addition, the MeBeSafe measures would address 16,584 seriously and slightly injured persons in 2025 and 40,053 persons in 2030. This corresponds to a share of 1.2 % in 2025 and 2.5 % in 2030 respectively, for the group of seriously and slightly injured persons.

Coordination and communication (WP6) accompanied the project. A project management plan describes indicators, reporting procedures, schedules project progress & supports project monitoring. Scientific progress & project finances are monitored continuously. Deviations are monitored & reported to the EC. Communication & social media plan were developed, presentation template & media materials for dissemination were produced. Social media accounts were created. News articles, newsletters, press releases, videos, & interviews were produced. The website was redesigned. An image film was initiated. Visibility & outreach of MeBeSafe was increased.
The novelty of the current research is in the use of sensors & sensor data by algorithms that intend to predict the likelihood of a detected & pre-defined situation leading to a dangerous one. Preserving safety margins reduces the risk (for the individual) & occurrence/severity of accidents (for society). MeBeSafe has brought the development in each objective to a level beyond the state of the art and demonstrated the applicability in the field trials. Future research should aim at including these measures into future traffic, developing our findings further, and replicate them in multiple environments.
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