Traffic Safety

Transport safety is one of the most important topics in transportation engineering. While most topics in Transport and Mobility and Smart Cities deal with the comfort of people and the prosperity of society, Traffic Safety tackles the protection of the life of citizens when moving in the city.

In addition, and equally important, is the protection of a city’s critical infrastructure. Accomplishing traffic safety is achieved in 4 levels, proactive planning, real-time monitoring, response to problems and post-event actions. AETHON is working with stakeholders in all 4 levels to ensure the safety of people when using the transportation system.

Accomplishing traffic safety is achieved in 4 levels, proactive planning, real-time monitoring, response to problems and post-event actions. AETHON is working with its partners in all 4 levels to ensure the safety of people when using the transportation system.

Proactive Planning – Designing a safe network

Planning a city so that accidents do not happen (Vision Zero) and that infrastructure are robust to natural or man-made hazards, is the foundation for all levels of traffic safety. To achieve a reduction of accidents and to minimize them completely requires macroscopic and microscopic studies. Macroscopic studies allow the estimation of flows, bottlenecks, functionality of roads, average speeds and other measures that can be used for understanding a situation. In AETHON we follow the “Advancing Sustainable Safety” principles for designing solutions at the macroscopic level:

  • First, roads must have a unique functionality and operate in a hierarchical network: through-roads, distributor-roads and access-roads.
  • Second, traffic on a network segment must be homogeneous in terms of masses, speed and direction.
  • Third, the network must be predictable for the user; the network must be designed consistently and in continuity so that user is able to understand its uses and its course.
  • Fourth, the network must be forgiving which is achieved through anticipation of user behaviour and implementation of means that reduce accident and injury risk.
  • Finally, the users of the network must achieve state awareness which results in increased knowledge for the user on its own capabilities thus, improving reaction to situations.

Business Continuity and Response to problems

Traffic safety relies on both the infrastructure and the user. The network must be designed in such manner to accommodate the user and expects users’ actions that will increase risk and result to accidents. Nonetheless, designing a completely safe network cannot completely nullify the risk of accidents. Consequently, the design of the network must anticipate the occurrence of accidentsIn that case, the planning is extended from the network to the response in case of an accident. For the first part, the network must be designed to avoid the occurrence of deaths and the occurrence of severe injuries

Furthermore, the response must be planned accordingly to ensure Business Continuity. More specifically, Business Continuity ensures that the network can overcome accidents and disasters, resuming its normal operations as soon and as smoothly as possible. For this purpose, coordination of response teams, implementation of electronic information means (e.g., messages for avoiding closed roads through smartphone apps), temporary (re-)organisation of Public Transport and many more should be taken into account. AETHON can assist stakeholders with the entire chain of proactive planning.

Real-time monitoring

For a system to respond quickly to disasters and accidents, it is imperative to monitor network conditions. In most present cases, monitoring of accidents and disasters is handled manually through calls to first responders who may not disseminate the information to other stakeholders. Creating a web of monitoring Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices on the network is the modern and most impactful way to achieve information collection and dissemination of the information to all relevant stakeholders. 

AETHON assists in creating monitoring plans that go beyond IoT device placement and into automatic dissemination of information and automatic network adjustments. For example, a Public Transport agency can automatically be notified of a road closure followed by the creation of a message towards travellers that will be disseminated through the Public Transport agency’s and 3rd party’s applications (e.g., Google Maps). A second example can be the occurrence of an accident on a highway that triggers messages towards travellers through the message signs on the highway and their smartphone apps to alter their course and adjyst their movement in order to avoid it. 

AETHON can develop automation mechanisms through the creation of centralised or decentralised IT systems that implement transportation engineering logic to accident response and that improve the efficiency, robustness and reliability of the network as a whole contributing to sustainability, safety and security.

A modern network is the one that learns from its mistakes and adapts to circumstances. When an event occurs on the network, the study of the event’s impact and adjustment of its components is important to ensure that it will not occur again or that its impact will be reduced the next time of occurrence.

Post-event actions

A modern network is the one that learns from its mistakes and adapts to circumstances. When an event occurs that disrupts the flow of the network and reduces traffic safety, the study of the event’s impact and adjustment of its components is important to ensure that it will not occur again or that its impact will be reduced the next time of occurrence.

The evaluation of a network in terms of traffic safety is the last step of the cycle for ensuring increasing traffic safety and calls for data collection during the occurrence of an event, impact analysis and risk determination and quantification. For the post-event analysis, stakeholder engagement actions can also be implemented to initiate a co-creation activity. Co-creation with stakeholders is important because it ensures trust and adoption of potential new measures. AETHON assists its partners to implement those actions tailored to the specific needs of a community or network.

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