Here I Go: Innovative protocols will enhance safety for VRUs in C-ITS in new project

Mar, 15 2024

In efforts to strengthen protection for Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs) and advance the principles of Vision Zero, a new project titled "Here I Go" is underway in SAFER’s portfolio. Led by Halmstad University and funded by Skyltfonden, this initiative is a result of a SAFER funded pre-study on Human Factors, Risks, and Optimal Performance in Cooperative, Connected, and Automated Mobility.

The project addresses current limitations in VRU protection methods, which often categorise pedestrians and cyclists as either passive or active participants in road safety. Traditionally, passive approaches rely on sensing and detecting VRUs' presence and actions, while active approaches involve VRUs communicating their status to other road users. However, active methods typically assume that VRU applications can operate on mobile phones, which isn't always feasible.

The aim of "Here I Go" is to develop a functional prototype of an optimised, standard-compliant embedded system. This system will be designed for mounting on bicycles, scooters, powered two-wheelers, and pedestrian reflective vests. Its primary function will be to facilitate communication of VRUs' status and intentions to road vehicles, including connected automated vehicles (CAVs), and infrastructure. Importantly, these communications will adhere to strict time and reliability constraints, ensuring effective and timely interactions between VRUs and other road users.

Furthermore, the project proposes a proof-of-concept for a V2X-based intention sharing protocol, integrated into a connected VRU awareness system. This protocol aims to increase VRU protection by enhancing the ability of VRUs to share their intentions with surrounding vehicles and infrastructure, thereby reducing the risk of accidents and promoting safer road environments for all users.