- Country Profiles
- About TRIP
Despite some improvements in recent years, the number of road accident victims in the European Union is still high with around 42,000 fatalities and 1.6 million injuries a year. Inappropriate speed has been identified as a major cause. Unless this pattern changes, roughly one in every eighty European citizens will be killed on the roads and one European in three will need hospital treatment after an accident, at least once in their life. If the cost of emergency services and medical care is included, the total cost of fatal accidents in the EU is put at € 45 billion a year or € 1 million for every person killed.
A major cause of road accidents is inappropriate speed, i.e. the driver has not adapted the vehicle speed to the prevailing circumstances or is unaware of hazards due to lack of information. A common name for measures that can be undertaken to overcome such problems is road speed management.
While traditional road speed management measures normally include installation of physical obstacles in the roadway to prevent speeding, alternative solutions based on information and the use of information technology are under development.
The EC has recognised the contribution that new technologies can make in achieving the goals of the Common Transport Policy through a reduction in road speed. The Council resolution of June 2000 explicitly identifies “…the use of advanced assisted driving technology…which has considerable potential for improving road safety” and “…technology relating to speed limitation devices and to identify any technical, organisational, administrative and legal difficulties in introducing them…” as important measures for further investigation.
Therefore the question arises: why is the implementation of new road speed management methods not well under way?
From a policy perspective there is a vast difference between implementation of traditional (physical) speed management methods and advanced methods based on information technology. While traditional speed management methods are subject to “local decisions regarding local solutions for local problems”, advanced methods require decisions at higher political and industrial levels: Speed management methods that require interaction between a vehicle and its surroundings involve a totally different set of policies and decision making processes.
The aim of the PROSPER project was to address these policy aspects of road speed management by identifying the key questions relating to the various players in the implementation process, and then responding to these questions through research and development activities.
The main objective of the PROSPER project was to contribute to improved road traffic safety by providing answers to the following questions:
A further objective was to forward the information collected and knowledge generated to the key policy stakeholders with the purpose of removing barriers to the implementation of modern methods for road speed management.
The overall project objective, as defined above, was achieved by focusing on the following research processes:
European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy and Transport (DG TREN)
The PROSPER project was based on partners with a vast knowledge on the subject from the various national ISA field trials that preceded the project. To ensure a European perspective and fill in knowledge gaps, the PROSPER project used laboratory experiments (driving simulator) and field studies (in Hungary and Spain) in combination with interviews and surveys to collect additional information and generate new knowledge.
The results from earlier experiments and field trials are confirmed by PROSPER:
The overaching conclusion was that there is a broad consensus on the potential for improving road safety with ISA, but availability of and access to speed limit information halts the deployment.
None: the PROSPER project did not intend to develop vehicle equipment or other technical components of road speed management systems. The most important technical achievements concerned the development of models, tools and other methods for analysis.
PROSPER research and dissemination activities have generated a platform for further ISA deployment on the European level. This platform is expressed as a set of implementation scenarios that are expected to be effective ways of generating ISA deployment. The realisation of these scenarios is supported by a set of recommendations for actions by the different groups of stakeholders concerned:
Langzaam Verkeer; Flemish Institute for technological research
CERTU - Centre d'études sur les réseaux de transport et l' urbanisme
Technical University Kaiserlautern - Transportation Department
University of Cape Town - Civil Engineering
INTRA - Ingeniería de Tráfico
Ministerie van Verkeer en Waterstaat - AVV Transport Research Centre; TNO - Organisation for Applied Scientific Research
SRA - Vägverket - Swedish Road Administration; Lund University; SWECO VBB VIAK; Transek
Institute for Transport Studies (ITS) - University of Leeds; MIRA Ltd.
Mr Per Wenner
Swedish Road Administration
781 87 Borlänge
Tel: (+46) 24 37 51 70
Fax: (+46) 24 37 59 39
TRIP is funded by the European Commission's Directorate General for Mobility and Transport under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7).