African road safety challenges are numerous and complex. Globally, only 2% of car fleet is in Africa, yet 16% of road deaths and 44% of global pedestrian and cyclist fatalities occur on this continent. TRANS-SAFE wants to promote a radical transformation towards road safety improvement in Africa, through tested and validated road safety solutions, with a high level of scalability and replicability. This project involves national, regional and city level demonstrations to test different types of innovative and integrated safe system solutions, complemented by a comprehensive toolbox, capacity development, policy support and replication activities. Those safe system solutions will involve changes in every area that comprehends mobility. From making safer vehicles, revising the state of the roads and studying speed limits, to creating networks of trained professionals with skills in post-crash care and trainings for professional and non-professional drivers in order to improve their abilities, knowledge and awareness in every situation when they find themselves behind the steering wheel. Regarding vehicles, this project will focus on their mechanical condition and regulations. A pilot study, focused on the status of vehicle safety systems is being performed. This paper focuses on vehicle safety research within TRANS-SAFE project, where new steps towards increasing the safety of the vehicle fleet in the African continent are proposed. Currently, some modular aftermarket options for ADAS are being studied to be fit into older used vehicles. These systems are completely adaptable to most vehicles and aim to improve the driver’s awareness of the surroundings to increase road safety and reduce accidents in African roads. Testing protocols of the ADAS are being created so they can be properly tested on the field and get feedback from the future users of the adapted vehicles. Adding to that, recommendations on regulations are being made to boost a change and to maintain a safe vehicle fleet. These regulations aim to improve the general safety of all vehicles, including commercial vehicles, public transportation vehicles and heavy-duty vehicles, focusing on the minimum safety components a vehicle must have and the adequate mechanical status of its parts in order to be deemed roadworthy. To maximize the impact, the project brings together in a consortium, highly committed cities, road safety agencies and experts from both Europe and Africa. Building on numerous synergistic projects, networks, and a strong technical experience among partners, the consortium will deliver an ambitious project through highly effective and innovative approaches to sustainable road safety development, thereby ensuring that road safety systems and interventions from this project deliver on the recommendations of the Road Safety Cluster of the African-EU Transport Task Force, adopted in 2020.
Mr. Victor Garcia, Engineer, IDIADA Automotive Technology, S.A.