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Advanced measures to reduce cyclists' fatalities and increase comfort in the interaction with motorised vehicles

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - XCYCLE (Advanced measures to reduce cyclists' fatalities and increase comfort in the interaction with motorised vehicles)

Reporting period: 2018-06-01 to 2018-11-30

Cyclists are considered vulnerable road users because the human body is fragile and lacks protection in case of a crash. Bicycle fatalities made up 7,8% of the total number of road accident fatalities in 2015 in the EU countries. In these countries, 2.043 people riding bicycles were killed in road accidents in 2015. The most fatal crash type is a collision with a motorised vehicle. Analysis into the problem provides an opportunity to improve the safety of this convenient and environmentally safe mode of transport. Making cycling safer can encourage cycling and increase related health and environmental benefits. The main aim of XCYCLE was to deliver advanced systems to make a substantial improvement in cyclist safety in urban traffic, particularly in the interaction with passenger cars and heavy goods vehicles, thereby reducing the vulnerability of bicycle riders to serious and fatal injuries. XCYCLE systems intended to deliver an enhancement in cyclist comfort by improving traffic signal responsiveness. The effectiveness of the developed systems have been tested in real-life conditions.
(WP2) We conducted an overview of accidents between motorized vehicles and bicycles, considering how specific these are for ten European countries, and an overview of the state-of-the-art technologies and available systems. In the first part, data for bicycle crashes were drawn from national and governmental databases, also identifying factors contributing to bicycle-motorized vehicle collisions through a systematic literature review. The scenarios, manoeuvres, and contributing factors identified as more relevant will serve as an input for truck simulations when testing human-machine interfaces within the project.

(WP3) In-Vehicle and On-bike systems. The project partners worked to deploy and test both the in-vehicle and the on-bike safety systems. The in-vehicle cyclists detection system functions with satisfactory accuracy and covers adequate range. Results of laboratory evaluations of HMIs have identified warning modes that show improved fluidity of truck movement through the intersection and more frequent manoeuvres aimed at avoidance of collisions with cyclists. Also, the HMIs were perceived as acceptable and useful for the real-world traffic situations by the truck drivers. Tracking system performance and impact of HMIs on the cyclists’ behaviour was assessed in a field test with experimental design. Localization error was within acceptable limits, cyclists demonstrated safer behaviour in traffic and expressed acceptance of the system. Furthermore, integration of bike tag within the green wave system was tested. Results show satisfactory speed estimation errors, this shows that the bike tag can be used for green wave applications.

(WP4) Infrastructure-based situation and threat assessment. The Traffic Control algorithm developed for Green wave system (developed and initially tested in simulation study in the first reporting period) was evaluated in virtual environment which simulated the field trial intersection in Groningen, the Netherlands, and included elements specific for this intersection (i. e. bus priority, pedestrian movement, and different sensor fields). Then the algorithm was presented to the local road operator, who granted permissions for field testing.

(WP5) Integration, implementation and verification. Infrastructure-based system was successfully interfaced with SA/RA (Situation Assessment/Risk Assessment) algorithms and transmission of simulated messages between SA/RA and the in-vehicle system was verified. In-vehicle sensor system was equipped with a newly developed object detection sensor model replicating the right turn at the testing intersection in Braunschweig, Germany. The message transmission between this sensor system and the infrastructure system was simulated. Also, the in-vehicle system was tested in virtual environment, its HMI developed according to the HMI strategy described in D3.3 and assessed by truck drivers and HMI experts. The hardware of this system was then installed in a VOLVO FH truck. Integration of message transmission between the in-vehicle and infrastructure system was then completed. The Amber light hardware was successfully installed at the Braunschweig testing intersection as well and successfully integrated with systems on site.

(WP6) Evaluation of the integration system. Two Willingness To Pay (WTP) studies were conducted for the on-bike system. Study 1 was carried out in Italy and revealed WTP by means of Contingent Valuation (CV) method in participants who have experienced the system. Study 2 used online questionnaire administered to 2417 participants in 6 EU countries and assessed WTP by means of both CV and Stated Preference (SP) methods. Green wave system evaluation was done by means of a field study in which changes in cyclists’ behaviours were measured. On-bike system was studied in a semi-controlled field study in Braunschweig, Germany. Both video and trajectory data was collected, as well as perceived safety and other subjective measures. In-truck and infrastructure systems were evaluated via several focus groups conducted in Sweden and Italy with cyclists and truck drivers as participants. The CBA highlighted that XCYCLE innovations could be arranged in different ways to provide the best solution for each specific scenario, thus maximizing benefits.

(WP7) Dissemination and exploitation. New knowledge on effective safety measures for cyclists and on the opportunities for their active traffic participation has been constantly disseminated through different channels. The project website has been created and enriched with general communication material, deliverables, and scientific papers. Website performance trends were stable over time. Infographics, conference posters, newsletters and a project video (published both on the project website and on YouTube) present advancements of the project. The use of Social Media (Linkedin) has been successful to engage with other target groups including the general public.
Multiple papers presenting the results of the XCYCLE innovative systems evaluation has been submitted to scientific journals. A booklet with the most interesting open access scientific articles have been developed and distributed in related events.
"XCYCLE contributed to the promotion of cycling and gave particular attention to cyclists’ safety and comfort, developing safer infrastructure and advanced vehicle technologies.The crash costs of cycling are higher that than those of car driving while the total costs of cycling, including air pollution, traffic noise, and savings from reduced absence from work, are lower than those of driving a car. The expected impact of XCYCLE is to reduce the crash costs of cycling. On-bike, in-vehicle and infrastructure-based technology delivered within XCYCLE will help in reducing bicycle crashes in the interaction with motorized vehicles. Inattention, or failure to notice the cyclist, is a contributing factor frequently reported. XCYCLE developed systems and technologies that can assist the driver or the cyclists to avoid collisions. XCYCLE contributed to the Transport White Paper's ""Vision Zero"" objectives because it focused on vehicle-infrastructure interfaces and cooperative systems, paying attention to the specific needs of cyclists.