Improving road safety with a novel driver intervention and feedback system

News - 19 September 2022 - Webredactie

Several factors related to driver state negatively impact road safety, such as mobile phone distraction, fatigue and drowsiness. In the EU project i-DREAMS, different universities and businesses work together to develop a ‘safety tolerance zone’ for assessing driver state and to create a platform for personalised interventions and feedback for drivers  for improving road safety. Amir Pooyan Afghari and Eleonora Papadimitriou, both researchers at TU Delft, are involved in this project.

“Recent technological developments allow us to capture detailed driving style and contextual data for example via new in-vehicle sensors or smartwatches. This creates new opportunities for the detection and design of customised interventions to mitigate the risk, increase awareness and improve driver performance”, says Papadimitriou, assistant professor of transport safety. “When safe boundaries are exceeded, alerts will be activated, for example when the system measures fatigue or when a driver is speeding”. 

Novel approach
Of course intervention systems are not new, they are often already installed in new cars. What is novel about this system is that it is built on a scientific background, is combined with personal feedback that is given when the ride has ended and that it is designed to use data that are not necessarily obtained from sensors installed in the car. It works with wearable sensors such as a smartphone or smartwatch. Afghari, assistant professor of probabilistic methods in transport safety: “The system integrates new technology for actively monitoring the driver, surroundings and the vehicle.”

Measuring effectiveness
The optimal exploitation of technological opportunities is the challenge that i-DREAMS faces. TU Delft focuses on the methodology in the project: how to measure risk, identify risk factors and analyse the data of about 500 drivers in the  pilot project pilot? Trials are now taking place in five countries (Belgium, Greece, United Kingdom, Germany and Portugal). The preliminary results are promising. “The intervention system is well-received by drivers, the system works well and is user friendly. While we are still analysing the effectiveness of our interventions, we already know that they have been effective in reducing speeding among Belgian car drivers”, comments Afghari. 

Besides in cars, the i-DREAMS system is also tested in trucks, busses and trams. The monitoring system can be used by individuals, but also by truck or bus companies for example who want to encourage safe driving of their drivers. Because i-DREAMS can be used in multiple transport modes it can contribute significantly to a safer transport system.

About i-DREAMS
The i-DREAMS project is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The i-Dreams team consists of: Universiteit Hasselt (project coordinator, BE), Delft University of Technology (NL), Loughborough University (UK),  National Technical University of Athens (EL), European Transport Safety Council (BE), OSeven single-member private company (EL), Technische Universitaet Muenchen (DE), Barraqueiro Transportes (PT), Kuratorium für Verkehrssicherheit (AT), DriveSimSolutions (BE), CardioID Technologies (PT), Polis (BE), Univerza v Mariboru (SI).

More information about the project can be found at www.idreamsproject.eu

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