A European project aiming to improve safety of Connected and Automated Vehicles addressing the diversity of occupants and road users
1. 16 European organisations are joining forces to develop inclusive and innovative safety and HMI systems to pave the way towards Highly Automated Vehicles (HAVs) deployment in traffic.
2. The project, which has a budget of around 8 million euros, will last three years.
12th December, 2022 - The Spanish RTO Vicomtech coordinates the consortium, that brings together top EU experts from research institutes, technological and industrial partners from the automotive industry, from Spain, France, Germany, Greece, The Netherlands, Serbia, Sweden and Turkey. AWARE2ALL consortium will put special focus on underrepresented populations to ensure that results provide safety to any (type of) occupant and Human Road User (HRU).
It was estimated that human error was involved in about 95% of all EU road traffic accidents. HAVs represent the perfect alternative to reduce collisions caused by human error, especially in high-risk driver scenarios (e.g. drunk or distracted driving), expecting a penetration of 15% by 2030 with first applications in shuttles and shared cars.
The obstacles for HAVs introduction in the market mainly come from safety and human factors concerns. To overcome these obstacles, AWARE2ALL will effectively address the changes in road safety and in the interaction of different road users caused by the emergence of this vehicle typology, through the development of innovative technologies together with the corresponding tools and assessment methodologies.
Thus, AWARE2ALL's possibilities for action are approached from two different angles: inside and outside the vehicle.
On the one hand, the system will be geared towards occupant safety. A continuous occupant monitoring state (OMS) will assess the situation inside the vehicle. In an emergency, it will decide, if possible, to make a transition of control to a driver or to perform a fallback manoeuvre and thus avoid a collision. If a collision is unavoidable, advanced passive safety systems will adapt to reduce the severity of injuries. At any time, the behaviour of HAV systems needs to be adequately and timely communicated to the occupants by internal HMI (iHMI).
Regarding the exterior of the vehicle, the system will focus on the safety of the HRUs. An environment perception system will allow the HAV to identify the situation outside the vehicle and anticipate dangerous situations. An external HMI (eHMI) will allow the vehicle to communicate with the HRUs.
All systems developed in AWARE2ALL will be implemented in a total of four demonstrators: passive safety in a virtual one (Demo 1), active safety and eHMI in two vehicles (Demo 2 and Demo 4) and iHMI in a hybrid form (Demo 3) that will include a vehicle that will run in a static driving simulator.
The AWARE2ALL project is funded by the EU under the Horizon Europe programme (Grant Agreement 101076868). The project officially kicks off its activities with a first meeting taking place in Brussels on 1-2 December 2022.
 HMI (human-machine interface) refers to in-car touch screens and buttons, push rotary controllers, swipe and gesture functions, and even speech recognition technology. HMI systems allow occupants to interact with the vehicle in a more natural way.
 HAV is considered as a Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) presenting SAE-L4 features (the car can handle the majority of driving situations independently)
 HRU includes vulnerable road users (VRUs – pedestrians, cyclists and motorists) and human driven vehicles (HDVs)