Safe introduction of automation in the society by introduction of a supportive safety culture

Oct, 06 2022

Is the safety culture a key to safe introduction of automated vehicles? This is what we are looking into in our new associated project Safety culture & automated vehicles. The project is the result of a study that was carried out in SAFER's pre-study program in 2019.

Ines Heinig, responsible for SAFER's pre-study program, explains more:
“Looking at the safety culture in automation was something new and not particularly researched back in 2019, and our pre-study was very successful. The result, in turn, generated a pre-study within FFI, and now we have a larger project with many SAFER partners to learn from”.

The aim of this new project, funded by Vinnova, is to explore existing practice and knowledge of safety culture, and to identify methods to support safe introduction of automation. The project will investigate and analyze new risks with automation and produce recommendations for companies’ excellency in safety culture with automated vehicles and machines. Data will be collected through documents, observations, surveys and interviews to develop methods and recommendations on how to handle safety culture in organizations.  A process model will be developed and evaluated in two case studies (buses and forklifts) where automated vehicles and machines are being designed, tested and introduced. The process model will support and integrate safety culture when introducing highly automated vehicles and machines. A survey to measure safety culture in design and tests of new automated vehicles and machines will also be produced. Environmental and gender equality culture will be addressed in relation to safety culture. 

The project will be hosted by SAFER’s research area for Road user behaviour, but its character is more of a multi research area project concerning human and technology safety, spanning across several research areas. The project, with a budget of total 4.4 million SEK, will continue until March 2024. Several SAFER partners are engaged in the research; VTI, RISE, Combitech AB, Volvo Technology GTT and TØI. Toyota Material Handling Europe AB is also participating in the work. Christina Stave, VTI, is the project leader.