Report numberRA-MOW-2011-030
TitleResearch on specific ITS applications with an impact on road safety
SubtitleITS and the vulnerable road user
AuthorsDavid Carels
Wim Vandenberghe
Johan De Mol
Published byPolicy Research Centre for Mobility and Public Works, track Traffic Safety 2007-2011
Number of pages44
Document languageDutch
Partner(s)Universiteit Gent
Work packageOther: Innovatie en technologie

Despite major effort to increase road safety, by the installation of separate road infrastructure, optimizing and redesign of intersections, the number of accidents involving vulnerable road users is still on a high level. In Europe the major part of the traffic accident involving vulnerable road users happens on these specially designed road infrastructure. The introduction of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), consisting of intelligent sensors for accident detection and communication technology for information exchange, could provide a substantial contribution to the road safety for vulnerable road users.


A clear vision on the potential of various ITS-related systems and their impact on the safety of vulnerable road users is currently not available. Currently is it unclear for which already commercially available systems support from the government would be relevant. Also a vision on the support of further research or the possible launch of other initiatives cannot be determined because of a lack of information. The purpose of this report is to bring together all the available information on ITS and the vulnerable road users. This to support the government in defining their vision in the area of ITS and the vulnerable road users.


This report provides an overview of the efforts which are or will be made in the field of vulnerable road user protection systems. Primarily the increase of safety on intersections on urban roads gets lots of attention. These systems try to prevent accidents or try to reduce the impact of an accident to the strictly minimum.
The report is structured as follows: First an overview of the statistics about evolution and location of occurrence of traffic accidents involving vulnerable road users is given. Secondly the linked use cases, which are the most common, are presented.


Finally the existing techniques to detect and to prevent the presented accidents are listed. Also the current research of detection and prevention techniques, together with a vision on evolution of these techniques, is described.

Based on all the analyzed studies and project results, this report concludes that the effect of prevention systems, for vulnerable road users, is proven by the different research projects. The introduction of these systems will go gradually since it is difficult or even impossible to place it in the car afterwards, especially for systems that actively intervene, like braking systems. The introduced systems will be based on a combination of various technologies, in order to increase the reliability. An example of this is the introduction of the safety systems of Volvo and Mercedes in their new high-class vehicles.


However the introduction of cooperative safety systems, using communication technology, is not yet for the coming years. For the further development of this technology, additional research is needed and a high coverage among all road users is needed. To speed up the introduction, when the technology is further developed, the use of intelligent infrastructure for both detection and communication can deliver a major contribution.

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The Policy Research Centre for Traffic Safety carries out policy relevant scientific research under the authority of the Flemish Government. The Centre is the result of a

cooperation between Hasselt University, KU Leuven and VITO, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research.


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