The World Bank Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF) in collaboration with Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety and UK Aid are organizing an in-person event in the framework of Transforming Transportation conference, which will be held in Washington D.C., on 21 March 2024. The new Knowledge Report “Guide for Safe Speeds: Managing Traffic Speeds to Save Lives and Improve Livability” outlines interventions that work and provides guidance on how to select and implement speeds that are safe for all road users. Researchers can register here.
The Expert Group on Urban Mobility (EGUM) of the European Commission has recently delivered its first set of Recommendations. These Recommendations focused on three pillars: how to ensure prioritisation of public transport in urban areas, how to increase public transport inclusiveness and how to deal with the worker shortage and evolving skill requirements of the public transport sector. Road safety was an important issue in these Recommendations.
The European Conference of Transport Research Institutes (ECTRI) organized with great success the 7th ECTRI Safety Webinar, which was held online on 23 February 2024. Several of the scopes of the Safety Thematic Group are safety culture, safe mobility for all, automation and digitization safety implications, transport safety data collection and use and safety in intermodal/multimodal hubs and crossings. NTUA actively contributed with the following presentation:
NTUA Professor George Yannis made a key contribution to the vivid debate for the future of mobility & transport in Europe, organised by the European Commission – DG Move on 21 February 2024 in Brussels. He attempted to decode the slow deployment of vehicle automation, the role of artificial intelligence and digitalisation together with the necessary new business models for automated mobility in Europe stating that “Automation should be seen more as a social than a technology challenge“.
On the occasion, he also promoted strongly Public Transport as the only way to serve the increased urban and interurban transport demand in Europe and the 30km/h city-wide speed limits for safer, healthier and greener cities in Europe.
Private Passenger Car Owners Association – Vision Zero Road Accidents Conference, Athens, February 2024
The Private Passenger Car Owners Association of Greece organised with great success the Vision Zero Road Accidents Conference in Athens, on 21 February 2024. This association contributes to the improvement of the country’s road network, ensuring better traffic conditions for passenger cars. This conference focuses on how and if it is possible to have zero road crashes in Greece. NTUA actively contributed with the following presentation:
The International Association of Traffic and Safety Sciences (IATSS) is organising the 12th International Cycling Safety Conference (ICSC2024) which be held in Imabari, Japan, on 5–7 November 2024. The ICSC is a forum for researchers and experts in the field of cycling safety to exchange their knowledge and bring up new research topics and safety solutions. This year’s conference focuses on exploring cycling safety culture. Researchers can submit their abstracts until 30 April 2024.
The Access Management Committee of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) is organising the 4th Access Management International Conference which will be held in Boston, USA, on 24-26 June 2024. This conference with theme “Access Management: Safety and Design from the Curb to the Interchange for All Users” aims to promote idea sharing and showcases practitioner-ready techniques and academic work on the interaction between transportation and land use. The focus topic areas being discussed are design, safety, land use and legal issues.
The International Cooperation on Theories and Concepts in Traffic safety (ICTCT) in close co-operation with the Department of Transportation and Geotechnical Engineering of the University of Dar Es Salam is organising the 1st AfroSAFE conference in Dar es-Salaam, Tanzania, on 13-14 June 2024. This conference aims to facilitate exchange of knowledge and experiences between international and African road safety scientists, professionals and policy makers, and provides a platform for a joint discussion on the future of traffic safety on the African continent. Researchers can submit their abstracts until 16 February 2024.
The International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) is organising the 17th IFAC Symposium on Control in Transportation Systems in Ayia Napa, Cyprus, on 1-3 July 2024. The main scope of the Symposium refers to the development of automatic control methods and tools for the analysis, supervision and management of transportation systems. The increasing complexity of freight logistic networks, the technological developments in transportation systems, and the necessity of managing all the transportation modes in an efficient, synchronized and integrated way for a safe road environment will be discussed. Researchers can submit their papers until 1st March 2024.
The SafeRoadsMap is a new and open access powerful road safety benchmarking tool with interactive maps throughout Greece (soon globally) demonstrating road crash risk and related KPIs per road segment. The SafeRoadsMap tool has been developed by NTUA, OSeven and Global Link, within the SmartMaps research project under the EPAnEK Operational Program of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF). It is a complete and comprehensive tool to promote safer and more environmentally friendly driving behavior, based on specially developed algorithms exploiting for the first time most key road risk factors: driver behaviour, road geometry and road crash data.
The World Road Association – PIARC implemented an ambitious PIARC Knowledge Exchange project, aiming at sharing knowledge about road safety, with the active contribution of NTUA and AIT, especially within Low and Middle Income Countries with limited resources but also in more developed economies with different needs and priorities. The conclusion of this project was presented by the PIARC President Nazir Alli. Throughout the year, this global project addressed issues relating to vehicles, speed, data, vulnerable road users, infrastructure, tunnels, management and human factors in order to improve road safety.
The Horizon 2020 research project SHOW (SHared automation Operating models for Worldwide adoption) has recently published the SHOW Dashboard which has been conceptualized to provide a unified view of all SHOW pilot sites in terms of performance monitoring and visualisation of real-time vehicle information. This Dashboard brings all pilot sites in a cohesive and user-friendly interface. It enables access to various Autonomous Vehicle (AV) data to optimise operations and get an insight of the impacts of the fleet operation on the environment, traffic flow or safety. Beyond the SHOW project, the information panel of the Dashboard contains available data, which are available and accessible to the wider AV-interested audience.
The European Commission developed the EU Urban Mobility Observatory, a new virtual space for experts working on sustainable urban mobility across the European Union. This space includes case studies, success stories, as well as sustainable urban mobility plans, which include road safety as a major component. Furthermore, through this site researchers can find out insights, trends, tools and sustainable solutions for city transport across Europe.
The 2023 infographic of NTUA Road Safety Observatory (www.nrso.ntua.gr) highlights one more very intensive and highly fruitful year. The nrso scientific team with high dedication, efficiency and expertise continues to grow and excel, being active in 31 innovative research projects, succeeded to publish 49 scientific papers (23 in peer reviewed journals), and travelled around the world in hundreds of meetings to develop and promote road safety science. The 30 Marathons campaign for promoting 30km/h city-wide speed limit was also widely welcomed, contributing to the culture of calm and safe streets everywhere and for all.
The Transportation Research Board (TRB) organised with great success the 103rd Annual Meeting, which was held in Washington DC, on 7-11 January 2024. More than 600 workshops and sessions took place, covering all transportation modes and quite a few of them focussed on theory and practice of road safety worldwide. NTUA actively contributed with the following presentations and posters:
- Network-wide Road Safety Assessment: Methodology of the European Union
- Interactions between road environment and driver state for the identification of safety critical conditions
- Identifying the impact of Task Complexity and Coping Capacity on Driving Risk – Comparison among Different Countries and Transport Modes
- Leveraging Machine Learning Algorithms to Predict and Analyze Single-Vehicle and Multi-Vehicle Crash Occurrences on Motorways
Machine Learning Insights on Driving Behaviour Dynamics among Germany, Belgium, and UK Drivers, January 2024
A paper titled “Machine Learning Insights on Driving Behaviour Dynamics among Germany, Belgium, and UK Drivers” authored by Stella Roussou, Thodoris Garefalakis, Eva Michelaraki, Tom Brijs and George Yannis, has been published in Sustainability. Two machine learning approaches, Long Short-term Memory Networks and Neural Networks were implemented. The findings revealed a significant positive impact of i-DREAMS’ real-time interventions and post-trip assessments on enhancing driving behaviour. Furthermore, it is worth noting that neural networks demonstrated superior performance compared to other algorithms considered within this research context.
The European Commission with the active contribution of NTUA, SWOV and KFV has launched a safe mobility promotion activity focusing on driver distraction. According to three new Reports from the European Road Safety Observatory, mobile phone use is one of the most common sources of driver distraction and the usage of a hand-held phone increases the crash risk by around 2.5 times. These Reports also highlight effective measures against distracted driving, which include: strict enforcement of not using handheld devices, building rumble strips into road infrastructure, awareness campaigns, driver education through licensing and in-vehicle technology that warns or intervenes when departing from a lane or approaching too close to a vehicle in front.
The International Road Traffic and Accident Database (IRTAD) of the International Transport Forum (ITF/OECD) published the Road Safety Annual Report 2023, focusing on the development of road safety in 2022, with the active contribution of NTUA. It is based on data from 35 IRTAD member countries, with some preliminary data also for the year 2023. The main findings revealed that the number of fatalities continued to fall compared with 2019 and previous years. The necessity on the adoption of low emission zones, traffic limited zones and the development of 30 km/h zones by many cities was also highlighted.
The International Cooperation on Theories and Concepts in Traffic safety (ICTCT) is organising the 36th Conference in The Hague, Netherlands, on 17-18 October 2024 under the theme “Inclusive and interdisciplinary road safety research”. The conference is organized in close co-operation with the Traffic and Transportation Safety Lab of Delft University of Technology. Researchers can submit their abstracts until 30 April 2024.
Perceptions towards autonomous vehicle acceptance: Information mining from Self-Organizing Maps and Random Forests, December 2023
A paper titled “Perceptions towards autonomous vehicle acceptance: Information mining from Self-Organizing Maps and Random Forests” authored by Apostolos Ziakopoulos, Christina Telidou, Apostolos Anagnostopoulos, Fotini Kehagia and George Yannis, has been published in IATSS Research. Random Forests (RF) feature importance calculation indicated a number of affecting variables with distance covering capabilities of AVs being a major factor affecting acceptance decisions, followed (by a wide margin) by responder opinions on whether the principles and conscience of drivers can be replaced by an AI navigator without reducing safety levels.