About Prospect Project

Background

In 2010, more than one quarter of the world’s road traffic deaths were suffered by pedestrians (22%) and cyclists (5%), according to the World Health Organization. This means that approximately 335,000 non-motorized vulnerable road users die annually worldwide; furthermore, there are at least 20 times as many non-fatal injuries in road traffic accidents as fatalities. These numbers show the magnitude of the problem and the need to take coordinated action for the reduction of these figures.

Considering the countries in the European Union (EU) and the latest year of data availability (2009 – 2012) in the Community Road Accident Database CARE, the number of pedestrian fatalities is 5876 (21% of all road fatalities) while the corresponding figures for pedal cycles and mopeds are 2134 (7%) and 912 (3%) respectively, see EC (2014). This shows that the total annual number of road deaths in these Vulnerable Road User (VRU) categories was 8922, which amounts to 31% of all road fatalities in the EU. PROSPECT will address each of these categories, with an emphasis on the two groups with the largest shares of fatalities: cyclists and pedestrians.

Objectives

The overall PROSPECT objective is to provide a better understanding of VRU-related accidents and to develop, demonstrate and test innovative, (pro) active safety systems for protecting VRUs. The project will cover the entire spectrum of in-depth accident analysis, naturalistic observations, sensor processing, modelling and situation analysis, human-machine interface (HMI), driver warning and vehicle control, testing equipment, functional tests, user acceptance, and benefit / effectiveness estimation. Concepts will be developed by means of both simulation and physical prototypes. The project will pursue an integrated approach: In-depth accident analysis and naturalistic observation studies in multiple European countries will be used to gain improved understanding of VRU-related accidents. This knowledge will be used to tailor effective sensor processing, Human Machine Interface (HMI), driver warning and vehicle control strategies to be integrated in simulators and vehicle demonstrators. These demonstrators will in turn be used in functional and user acceptance tests. Tests will be performed in realistic traffic conditions and with novel dummy specimen, where the insights from the earlier in-depth accident analysis and naturalistic observation studies are again utilized. Test procedures will be proposed to Euro NCAP and the test results will be used for benefit estimation.

To achieve the overall goal of VRU accident and injury reduction, PROSPECT targets five key objectives across multiple domains:

OBJ1:     Better understanding of relevant VRU accident scenarios (combining multiple European accident studies with urban naturalistic observations)

OBJ2:     Improved VRU sensing and situational analysis (enlarged sensor coverage; earlier and more robust detection; sophisticated path prediction and intent recognition)

OBJ3:     Advanced HMI and vehicle control strategies (combined vehicle steering and braking for collision avoidance)

OBJ4:     Four vehicle demonstrators, one transportable mobile driving simulator and realistic VRU dummy specimen provided by leading EU industry partners for validation and effectiveness analysis

OBJ5:     Testing in realistic traffic scenarios, system performance assessment of the novel VRU active safety functions and user acceptance study (modelling and analysis)

Workpackages

To achieve the desired signifi­cant improvements for VRU safety, PROSPECT follows the structure summarised in the following figure. All research tasks required to achieve the objectives for next generation (pro) active VRU safety systems are covered by WP2 – WP7.

The following methodology will be applied:

Workpackages Prospect Project

Newest available accident data combined with results from naturalistic observation (WP2) represent key inputs for the system specifications (WP3), which form the basis for the system development. Results from naturalistic observation will be needed for VRU motion analysis and path prediction in WP5. Referring to the description of OBJ2 and OBJ3, technological research in two directions is required for the realisation of the new predictive systems: sensor processing (WP4) and situation analysis including VRU motion analysis and path prediction, warning and actuation strategies (WP5). Both branches will be merged in WP6 which focuses on system and demonstrator integration.

Having developed the systems including the novel sensing, actuator and intervention concepts, these will be extensively tested in realistic scenarios (WP7) close to real-life conditions which WP2 will feed into WP7 and WP7 test results will feed into the benefit estimation (WP2 Task T2.4). The new PROSPECT test methodology will be applied to (a) simulator testing and (b) vehicle testing:

(a) Tests with VRU and driver in the loop and user acceptance tests are planned using the driving simulators.

(b) During the final project phase all OEMs will cooperatively perform testing. All OEMs and Tier1 suppliers will contribute with a vehicle (either demonstrator vehicle modified in PROSPECT, prototype vehicle or production vehicle) to the joint testing. The same test methodology will be applied to all test vehicles.

Technical Work Packages WP2-WP7 will be accompanied by a management Work Package (WP1) and by WP8 which is dedicated to the dissemination of the project’s results, policy support and standardisation tasks to prepare the exploitation of the project’s achievements subsequent to the research project.

Results

PROSPECT will build on experiences gained with first generation AEB-PED systems currently on the market. Four vehicles will be built to demonstrate the key achievements of this project and to validate the effectiveness of improvements. The demonstrator vehicles will be tested in proving grounds in relevant scenarios using appropriate test equipment (e.g. platform bicycle dummy to be developed in PROSPECT). Considering this ‘experimental proof of concept’, the PROSPECT project corresponds to technology readiness level 3.

List of products to be developed within the project / upon project results:

Item Product Partners involved Delivery
1 New sensor concepts and operation modes for AEB VRU systems Audi, Bosch, Continental, Daimler
(all consortium, but most profit will be made by partners responsible for the industrial development)
Industrial development after project results available
2 New generation of AEB VRU systems fitted into passenger cars Audi, BMW, Daimler, Toyota, VCC Commercial development after project results available
3 Test and assessment methods for Euro NCAP AEB VRU systems BASt, IDIADA, TNO Customization by Euro NCAP after project results available
4 Test tools for AEB VRU development / testing 4active systems Customization by Euro NCAP after project results available