MeBeSafe - Making traffic safer through behaviour-changing nudging measures

MeBeSafe logo

The EU-financed Horizon 2020 SAFER project MeBeSafe (Measures for Behaving Safely in Traffic) aims at reducing the number and severity of road accidents by directly changing our habitual traffic behaviour. Various nudging and coaching measures will be used to get tired drivers to take a break and cyclists to reduce their speed in intersections, for example.

For most of us, navigating traffic is a very common activity and habitual, almost automatic. The project seeks to change this habitual behaviour and motivate drivers to preserving adequate traffic safety margins. Several nudging measures will be implemented in different facets of road transportation, mainly targeting drivers of powered road vehicles, but also laying a secondary focus on cyclists.

The nudging concept, adapted from behavioural science, relates to subconsciously pushing humans to make a desired choice, without being prohibitive against alternative choices of action. By preserving our freedom of action and giving us choice, nudging measures are less intrusive and can be provided earlier in a chain of events that might lead to a critical situation. The nudging measures will be implemented for in-vehicle advanced driver assistance systems and remote measures like coaching, as well as through adaptive in-road surface displays.

The development of the measures requires a cross-disciplinary collaboration between technologists, behavioural scientists and traffic experts. We will prospectively be analysing the effectiveness of each nudging measure first by modelling, followed by controlled experiments and field trials.

“By participating in the MeBeSafe project, SAFER will be contributing with its expertise and in-depth knowledge within traffic safety”, says Magnus Granström, Director of SAFER Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre at Chalmers.

“SAFER will design, test and evaluate an integrated approach where we combine subconscious nudging and deliberate coaching , adding the dimension timing and frequency of feedback to optimise the timing of interventions”.   

“The research results will be of interest to the consortium, organisations worldwide involved in road safety, as well as to SAFER’s partners, and the society, locally and globally”.

“The MeBeSafe project is a truly cross-disciplinary project, in which academy and industry will collaborate towards a common goal – to improve traffic safety”, says MariAnne Karlsson, professor of Human Factors Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology.

“We will, for example, together with the Swedish Transport Administration and Gothenburg City develop and test different nudging solutions to increase cyclist safety. A major challenge is to design a solution that is truly accepted by users, i.e. bicyclists. Therefore bicyclists will be involved in developing the solutions before they are tested in field conditions.”

 

The MeBeSafe project will develop and implement nudging and coaching measures in order to:

  • Achieve a long-term behavioural change through an online driver coaching scheme, by feedback on the driver’s safety performance, safely provided through an app or portal.
  • Combat a driver’s lack of alertness and acute driving ability by using visual warning signals and sound to get the driver to take a break.
  • Motivate a driver to increase the use of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) to keep a safe distance and show the benefits of the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).
  • Direct and heighten a driver’s attention towards potential hazards. Novel forecasting algorithms based on Artificial Intelligence will be used to determine a situational risk level.
  • Get drivers to adopt a safe speed and keep a risk-minimising trajectory on inter-urban roads. Adaptive, emissive road markings/displays will be used in combination with roadside sensors and an infrastructure-based ADAS.
  • Motivate cyclists to reduce their speed when approaching risky urban intersections by using a new type of rumble strip and interactive visual information.
  • Decrease the frequency of unplanned sudden braking, through coaching feedback of drivers of heavy goods.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 723430.

About MeBeSafe
MeBeSafe is a € 7.1 million Horizon 2020 project, granted by the European Commission and coordinated by the Institute for Automotive Engineering (ika), RWTH Aachen University. The project started on the 1st of May 2017 and will run for 4 years. The consortium consists of 15 partners from the business, academic and research/technology sectors and includes automotive OEMs and suppliers, road infrastructure and fleet owners and business partners involved in traffic data analysis, and leading organizations in traffic safety research and modelling.

Consortium partners:

  • Institute for Automotive Engineering (ika), RWTH Aachen University
  • Institute of Highway Engineering (isac), RWTH Aachen University
  • SAFER Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre at Chalmers, Sweden
  • Volvo Car Group, Sweden TNO, The Netherlands
  • Shell International BV, The Netherlands
  • Heijmans Wegen BV, The Netherlands
  • Institute for Road Safety Research (SWOV), The Netherlands
  • University of Firenze, Italy
  • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Italy
  • Cranfield University, United Kingdom
  • Cygnify BV, The Netherlands
  • Verkehrsunfallforschung an der TU Dresden GmbH, Germany
  • BMW Group, Germany
  • OFFIS E.V., Germany Kompetenzzentrum – Das virtuelle Fahrzeug, Forschungsgesellschaft mbH/Virtual Vehicle, Austria

 

Safer – Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre

SAFER is the open innovation 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

SAFER

Lindholmspiren 3A
SE-417 56 Göteborg
Sweden

 +46 31-772 21 06
 safer [at] chalmers.se