Great project ideas submitted in SAFER’s recent call for pre-studies: three new projects funded

In the third call for SAFER pre-study ideas this year, three of the submitted proposals have been approved for funding;
•    Pre-Study of experimental characterization of soft (adipose) tissue rate-dependent response
•    Standing passenger safety and discomfort during automated driving 
•    Drone Lighting Systems: will it take off?

“The SAFER pre-study programme continues to develop positively, we receive very exploratory ideas and the commitment from our partners is great. Since we started the programme, we have now granted a total of 15 pre-studies and no less than 21 of our 40 partners have participated in one or more studies”, says Ines Heinig, responsible for the program at SAFER.

Pre-Study of experimental characterization of soft (adipose) tissue rate-dependent response
Since there is no standard or accepted method to characterize adipose tissue under impact loading, this pre-study aims at designing test set-up to ensure that the relevant mechanisms of the material and the model are properly activated, as well as what kind of precision is needed for sensors and sample sizes, etc. Relevant literature will be surveyed to compare experimental protocols and set-up in other applications. The designed test set-up for adipose tissue is expected to be adaptable to other soft tissues as well. Chalmers and Autoliv are partners in this pre-study and SAFER’s research area for Human body protection will host the project.

Standing passenger safety and discomfort during automated driving 
Standing passengers are common in city buses and trams. A standing posture is challenging as the passenger needs to react and respond to different vehicle maneuvers such as acceleration, jerk, braking, and turning. This pre-study will be used to identify the potential with using driving simulators to assess vehicle dynamics and passenger safety during AD settings, providing knowledge regarding safe introduction of AD settings in public transport to minimize the risk of injuries to passengers. The driving simulator, a SAFER Connected Research Resource, at VTI has the potential to be the next powerful tool to conduct various volunteer tests, ranging from vehicle dynamic tests to clinical trials to assess human balance during perturbations with multiple degrees of freedom. No less than five SAFER partners will be working together in this pre-study; VTI, TÖI, Smart Eye, Chalmers and Volvo Group. The project will be placed in SAFER’s project portfolio for Human body protection.

Drone Lighting Systems: will it take off?
Lighting, for example of bike paths, is a costly endeavor, as the light poles are placed at short intervals on relatively long bike paths, which leads to a high investment and maintenance costs during its lifetime. Besides the safety of cyclists, especially during the long winter in Sweden, lighting is important to encourage more active travel with bikes. The municipality of Skara have proposed the idea that drones equipped with lighting capability could be a viable replacement for bike poles in rural areas with a low frequency of cyclist and long distances. In this project Jönköping University, University of Skövde and RISE will collaborate together with the municipality of Skara. SAFER’s Research area for Road user behaviour will host this project.

Next call will open in August
Do you have a traffic safety research idea that you would like to develop together with SAFER partners? We have an opportunity! Funding will proactively stimulate project generation with several SAFER partners involved to maximize the benefits of our multi-disciplinary platform and obtain a broad commitment, both between partners and within research areas. The funding is for getting started with strategic knowledge creation that can be leveraged e.g. by using the unique, new competence as a basis for national funding or an entry ticket to prestigious international collaborations. We also welcome proposals that are of a different nature, for instance for finalization of publications from a completed project or investigation of a new area. 
Simply put, projects that lead SAFER forward and contribute to the continued development of our joint collaboration platform.

The time schedule for the next calls is:

  • August: Call for pre-studies open 
  • September 14 and Nov 17: Research Area days – dialogue about ideas (recommended)
  • December 5: Submission deadline
  • December 9: The Scientific Council (research area directors and part of the SAFER management team) evaluates and ranks all pre-study applications.
  • Dec 15: The SAFER Board decides about funding. 
  • End of December: Decision Letters are sent out.
  • Projects can start January 2022

If you have questions about the pre-study program, welcome to contact Ines Heinig (ines.heinig [at] Welcome with your application!

Safer – Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre

SAFER is the open research arena where researchers and expertise work together to create safe mobility. Our traffic safety approach covers people, vehicles and the infrastructure – and together we contribute to safer road transports and smarter, more sustainable cities.

Contact information


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 safer [at]