The 90 minute session started with an introduction on the current road safety challenges and the previously mentioned aspects of car-centric urban planning by Pedro Homem de Gouveia (POLIS). The transport expert used various examples from epidemiology and workplace safety, which highlighted that societal progress and uptake lag behind research and innovative solutions. Thus, de Gouveia remains positive about a safer future for all road users.
The first project presentation focused on the use cases, methodology and pilot cities of the PHOEBE project, which was showcased by James Bradford (IRAP). The cities are Valencia, Athens and West Midlands, which have different focus aspects, including the test of effectiveness of infrastructure enhancements for cyclists and e-scooters users, as well as vulnerable road users across several traffic scenarios.
SOTERIA tries to tackle the challenges of road fatalities of vulnerable road users (VRUs), as a significant majority of all fatal accidents involve this group of road users. In their four living labs of Madrid, Oxfordshire, Land Sachsen and Chania (Western Crete), different mobility solutions, such as micro-mobility, shared mobility services and other solutions are tested in a co-creative way. Panagiotis Georgakis (WLV) shared the planned engagement with other actors besides VRUs, such as the private- and public sector and research centers to co-create solutions like public space designs or other infrastructure interventions.
V4SAFETY takes the perspective of a car, while looking into a wide variety of safety solutions, including the behaviour of the driver and vehicle occupants to create a widely accepted and harmonised predictive safety assessment framework. Olaf Op den Camp (TNO) explained the main output of the project, including modelling, virtual simulation, and the assessment of several use cases of interactions between a road vehicle and active mobility users. Potential examples are vehicles making right-hand turns or traversing cycling lanes and pedestrian crossings.
The session was wrapped up by Niklas Schmalholz (POLIS) who informed the attendees about the wide range of communication channels that the three projects provide. This first joint webinar was the starting point for further knowledge exchange on road safety solutions.