PROSPECT project: advancing on lifesaving technologies at European roads

According to the latest data available, in 2017 25.300 people lost their lives on EU roads; of which 21% were pedestrians and 8% were cyclists. These percentages help to explain the effort made during the last decade to progress in active safety, as a result of advances in video and radar technology.

Some of these lifesaving technologies were developed under the PROSPECT project, coordinated by IDIADA, with the main objective of laying the foundations for next generation Vulnerable Road User´s (VRU) active safety systems for cars to significantly reduce crashes, especially at intersections.

The PROSPECT project finished in October 2018, and its results have had visible implications for policies and regulations in understanding the real-world benefit of new ADAS functions and systems. Some of the advances made thanks to the PROSPECT project and its lifesaving technologies are:

  • PROSPECT took a step forward in defining test and assessment methods for Euro NCAP consumer testing AEB VRU systems. Euro NCAP assessment programmes provide truthful, accurate and independent comparative safety information on vehicles. This programme encourages manufacturers to exceed the minimum legal requirements and promote safety innovation.
  • Successful implementation of PROSEPCT results by standardization bodies will boost competitiveness among car manufacturers and improve safety, reliability and performance of cars fitted with new generation AEB/AES systems by 2025. Moreover, different consumer ratings will provide the best consumer advice to those users that want to buy a safe vehicle.
  • Due to the assumed increasing market penetration of PROSPECT systems and user acceptance, the annual number of lives saved in EU-28 will increase from an estimated 79-95 in 2025 to 280-336 in 2030, while the corresponding estimates for the reduction of seriously injured are 439-697 in 2025 and 1558-2474 in 2030. Accordingly, the socio-economic benefit of PROSPECT systems increases from 203-296 million euros in 2025 to monetary values exceeding 878- 1280 million euros from 2030 on.

At the moment of finishing the PROSPECT project, it experienced not only an interest from standardization bodies (Euro NCAP, ISO) but also from the automotive industry. There is already commitment from US manufacturers to fit their cars before 2022 with these live-saving devices and Europe should be the next target market. The EU institutions have reached a provisional political agreement on the revised General Safety Regulation. As of 2022, new lifesaving technologies will become mandatory in European vehicles to protect passengers, pedestrians and cyclists (these measures include not only electronic stability control systems, lane departure warning systems, but also advanced emergency braking systems).

Now that the project has finished, Applus+ IDIADA is considering the next steps to follow. The majority of opportunities for car manufacturers (OEMs) are based on the incorporation of components, software, and hardware, into existing tools and products and working towards the commercial product / service market launch. The presence of several prominent OEMs and two of the three world’s leading Tier1s in the consortium will ensure the rapid and broad implementation of the key innovations developed in PROSPECT, thereby contributing to the improvement of traffic safety in Europe and saving lives in the spirit of ‘Vision Zero’. For Applus+ IDIADA, the opportunities are customer-based, especially in testing services with PROSPECT use cases and consulting services for local governments, infrastructure providers and insurance companies.

PROSPECT: Final demonstration of results during final event

When the project finished, a final event was held at IDIADA in October 2018, including presentations, live-demonstrations and workshops with international stakeholders. Its main objective was to share the output and final results of the project.

To make the day a unique experience, the Final Event was a joint event of three European projects dedicated to vulnerable road users’ (VRU) safety: InDeV, XCYCLE and PROSPECT. All three projects aim at significantly improving VRU safety.

The Joint Final Event of the three projects received very good feedback from the special guests and all participants, who appreciated the various activities: workshops, prototypes demonstrations, interactive zone with networking. Applus+ IDIADA hosted around 170 experts on VRU safety from more than 20 countries and from different fields: human factor, development, infrastructure, communication, testing & validation and accidentology, among others. Finally, the event gathered experts from all automotive industry, local authorities and VRU organizations.