Set-up and real-traffic assessment of an active-safety platform for vulnerable-road-users
Paper in proceedings, 2012
Accounting for over 1.3 million yearly deaths, traffic accidents make up the ninth cause of death worldwide. In Europe, over 20%of these fatalities are vulnerable road users (VRUs). Active safety measures may significantly help to reduce VRU fatality; however, current active safety systems for VRUs are only found on high-end vehicles and support, e.g. using warnings, only the host vehicle driver.
The scope of this paper is to describe the set-up and real-traffic verification of a platform to enable active safety applications for VRUs in real-traffic. The platform is carried by VRUs and also serves to support the VRUs. The results presented in this paper suggest that such platform can be employed 1) as a logger for naturalistic studies of VRUs, 2) to better understand VRU behavior and VRU accident causation, and 3) as a basis for the development of novel active safety applications, hosted on VRU portable devices, such as future generation smart phones, and possibly enabled by wireless communication.
After a description of use cases inspired by accident databases, a first platform prototype was developed. The prototype is open and modular so that it can easily be extended and customized to collect data from any combination of analog or digital sensors, e.g. inertial measurement units, GPS, force sensors and cameras. Furthermore, the prototype is capable of real-time processing and able to provide visual, acoustic, and tactile feedback to the user. The prototype was tested in real traffic with a simple active safety application which warned the user when initiating to walk, in proximity of a zebra crossing, without having checked for coming traffic. Current applications of this prototype include different vulnerable road users such as bicyclists and the use of communication to enable cooperative applications.