SAFER shared knowledge at the European Research and Innovation days
European Research and Innovation Days on September 24-26 is the first annual policy event of the European Commission, bringing together stakeholders to debate and shape the future research and innovation landscape. The idea is to provide opportunities for stakeholders to come together, deepen the dialogue and work across sectors and disciplines to help plan Horizon Europe's implementation. SAFER's Senior Advisor Ingrid Skogsmo from VTI participated as expert in the Safe Journey panel dialogue.
Some 3000 people gathered over 3 days in some 60-70 sessions addressing all kinds of research items, such as Social innovation, Cancer, Food, Decarbonisaion, Energy, Science diplomacy etc. A couple of sessions addressed Transport and / or Mobility, among which “Safe Journey” and “Connected and Automated Mobility” touched areas of interest to SAFER.
In “Safe Journey” safety research needs for the four transport modes were discussed by a panel of invited representatives from each mode. Road safety aspects were presented by Ingrid Skogsmo, who in particular pointed out the important to continue funding of road safety research also beyond what is associated to automated vehicles. She also pointed out the importance to recognize the unique characters of road safety, and that this needs to be mirrored by adequate handling in Horizon Europe. At the same time there may be some overarching principles and framework aspects that can be addressed across the four modes, such as how to handle data collection and privacy, data sharing and GDPR.
Furthermore it was interesting to hear the presenter for rail, who pointed out that about half of the “injury value” for rail passengers in Great Britain is due to slips and falls in the train and at the stations. The air presenter discussed among other items the danger of overreacting on single events, and the apparent risk of creating unpractical, even counterproductive, measures when responding too quickly to singular events that appear in the moment of occurrence to be traumatic. Increased automation of maritime transport pointed out that increased automation means that e.g. human factors and cyber security will need research.
The moderator, Elisabeth Werner from DG MOVE, concluded the session by stating that there will be continued safety research needs also with increased automation – both to make sure that the automation is introduced in a safe way and how automation can be used to solve safety issues. It may be beneficial to address data handling issues cross-modally, and that while road safety has its unique character, there are several commonalities between the other three modes.