If the number of traffic casualties in the EU continues to decrease at the current rate, the target of Vision Zero (reducing road deaths to almost zero by 2050 ) will not be met. Moreover, the road traffic system is changing rapidly, due to: changes in the existing mobility system (e.g., increasing share of cycling, the increased share of older road users); the introduction of new mobility systems such as connected, cooperative, automated driving; shared mobility concepts; and new enabling technologies such as artificial intelligence and wireless V2X-communication. Authorities are being asked to allow vehicles equipped with new advanced communication and automation technologies onto public roads. However, an appropriate methodology for the type approval of these vehicles is not yet in place. The improvement of road safety only partly results from vehicle innovation and development; innovative infrastructure solutions are also required. In addition, authorities (from local to EU levels) seek to increase road safety through policies and regulations. A Safe System approach recognizes the shared responsibility of different stakeholders to increase road safety. On October 1, 2022, the three-year Horizon Europe project V4SAFETY started. The main objective of V4SAFETY is to provide a comprehensive procedure for conducting computer simulations to determine the long-term performance and impact of road safety solutions, from the identification and collection of the relevant input data to the projection of the results to a region of interest (e.g., the EU) and a prediction of changes in performance and impact that might be expected in the coming years. V4SAFETY is developing a methodology applicable to diverse safety improvements (e.g., in vehicle technologies, infrastructure, policies, or solutions targeting traffic participant behaviour changes). Providing clear guidelines and relevant procedures will make it possible to interpret results from different studies that forecast traffic safety benefits—even if they were performed using different input data, simulation tools, and/or fundamentally different simulation study designs. The paper will describe the V4SAFETY methodology and it will show how V4SAFETY intends to meet its objectives and ambitions, involving a large network of stakeholders, ranging from solution providers (e.g., from the automotive industry or infrastructure manufacturers), simulation tool providers, legislative bodies and policy makers, consumer organizations and standardization bodies. It will also show how the interaction is organized with other Europe Horizon projects such as SUNRISE, SOTERIA and PHOEBE.
Dr. Olaf Op den Camp, Senior consultant, TNO Integrated Vehicle Safety