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Safety Assessment Monitoring On-Vehicle with Automatic Recording


to determine the feasibility of a low cost in-vehicle electronic system which records data relating to vehicle and driver behaviour with respect to traffic accident and safety issues
to determine and prove the technological specification of such a system
to propose a methodology for relating parameters of driver behaviour, for example speed choice to fleet safety
to conduct a substantial pilot study utilising a SAMOVAR system for the real world assessment of the safety related effects of other ATT systems.
The SAMOVAR (safety assessment monitoring on-vehicle with automatic recording) has shown that significant road safety benefits, in terms of decreased accident rate, can accrue through the use of specialised data recorders on road vehicles. In addition, there can be significant financial savings to the operator of a fleet

These conclusions were reached on the basis of field trials on normally operated commercial vehicles. The total number equipped with recorders, and whose data was used to produce results was 400. One practical problem was that SAMOVAR trial design could not be allowed to significantly modify the daily routine and operation of the drivers or vehicles. Essential to the success of this is a proper implementation of a feedback philosophy comprising the driver-manager-recorder data-driver loop.

The following acheivements were obtained using both accident and journey data recorders:
a changed driver awareness to the orad traffic situation in a way ehich significantly reduced accident occurence and direct accident costs;
improvement on the traditional approach to the investigation of individual accidents.

Evidence was also found of better vehicle utilisation leading to a reduced per vehicle operating cost. Also developed was the SAMOVAR concept. This is an in-vehicle information system for economically and reliably routing the data required for driver safety assessment.
Technical Approach

The project will concentrate on the use of a vehicle recorder in wide use in Europe (the ICS Black Box) and the DRACO accident data recorder concept developed in DRIVE I project V1050 and a commercially available product, the ICS Black Box.

The technical approach has three main and distinct initial components:

to formalise a methodology for the assessment of changes in driver behaviour as a consequence of installing "black-box" type systems in a vehicle
to determine the operational requirements appropriate to the installation and fitment of an electronic accident recorder and
to determine the specification of a common interface unit between the safety and accident related components of SAMOVAR

The technical approach consists of the following principal steps :

to agree with fleet owners the fitment of component parts of SAMOVAR into a range of their vehicles and to agree with site owners, including POLIS cities, the utility of using SAMOVAR for the safety assessment of their local ATT based improvements
to determine the parameters most relevant to the assessment of safety related changes in driver behaviour.
to conduct substantial field trials which implement the first methodology with suitable commercially available modules and to assess the results.
to identify available similar systems & assess trends.
to design a prototype SAMOVAR system with due regard to ISO and CEN standards and the techno economic payoffs.
to make a first assessment of the potential system reliability and inherent system safety.
to market research advantages for the fleet operator of improved safety with particular accent on operational efficiency when using SAMOVAR.
to draw conclusions on the practicability of SAMOVAR as a tool for safety assessment and its technical and commercial feasibility.
to develop an improved methodology for accident detection and reconstruction.
We have contacted 14 organisations and cities who have nominally agreed to collaborate in specific ways with the project. SAMOVAR "user" types include:
forensic laboratory (accident reconstruction)
vehicle systems/electrical systems manufacturer
insurance underwriters and assessors
providers of test sites including the POLIS cities of Athens and Birmingham
2 types of fleet vehicle user
a major traffic police division
international driver behaviour research data collator
supplier of novel transducers of special significance to SAMOVAR such as a microwave vector velocity meter
.on a collaborative basis within DRIVE, the use of the output of the DRIVE SAFELY project related to system certification will be implemented through out the development of SAMOVAR and specifically with respect to the DRACO element.

Key Issues

The key issue is to determine a "best" set of safety and accident related parameters which can be monitored and assessed at reasonable cost and which satisfies the needs of the Consortium members and potential users by a SAMOVAR system.

Expected Impact

The very presence of an appropriately configured black-box on board a vehicle is already known to influence driver behaviour. It is hoped to finally prove that this influence is beneficial in terms of improved road safety and hence producing a significant reduction in accident related costs. The work of the DRACO Consortium has shown convincingly that such a scenario is realistic.

Such a system will be a valuable tool for the safe development and assessment of Advanced Road Transport Telematics Systems (ATT) envisaged within DRIVE and thus further a CEC stated overall objective.

If proven, the SAMOVAR system may well offer a persuasive argument in favour of more on-board monitoring via an implementation of a SAMOVAR function in future vehicles where implementation costs are falling due to the advent of data bus systems. It is here that real viability may be found for this concept together with the associated uses for systems such as DRACO.

Contribution to Standardisation

A key feature of the SAMOVAR system is that it could become the standard tool to provide safety related and accident data in a common format throughout Europe. There will then be a much reduced chance for confusion and ambiguity in the interpretation of such data obtained from the various countries of the Community and, significantly, the possibility to construct useful integrated data bases in a comparatively short time period. Such a data base could be used to rapidly assess the safety features of a new type of traffic light, a new model of vehicle or ATT component therein, the effect of a roadway modification etc..

All stages in the development of the DRACO prototype will be used as a test bed by the DRIVE SAFELY project of DRIVE I. The purpose is to provide them with an experimental base on which to prove their proposals for system safety certification. The SAMOVAR project will also need to consider future trends in the development of vehicle data buses and networks and its use may, in turn, influence these developments.


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