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Active vehicle safety and driver assistance systems

Driving assistance systems for automatic speed reduction in rain, fog, poor visibility, danger of black ice, fatigue, etc. (82.0744)
Accidents happen due to excessive speed that is not adapted to the driving situation and other boundary conditions - such as weather or road conditions. The question arises whether driver support by assistance systems that automatically and actively reduce driving speed in such situations can lead to a reduction in the number of accidents. The aim of the research project is to quantify the accident avoidance potential of such assistance systems.

Advertising on vehicles (82.0742)
Vehicles are increasingly used as vehicles for commercial advertising on the road to draw the attention of potential customers to the products or services of companies. This project scientifically investigates new forms of advertising presentation on motor vehicles using passive or active lighting equipment. It will be discussed whether and how these forms of advertising influence road safety. The aim is to identify limits beyond which road safety is impaired in a dangerous or aggravating way. On this basis, a decision will be made as to whether advertising on vehicles should be further regulated in technical standards.

Scientific monitoring of the participation of very small electric vehicles in road traffic (77.0522)
Since the participation of very small electric vehicles so called Personal Light Electric Vehicle (PLEV) in road traffic was not legally regulated until summer 2019 in Germany, there is no well-founded empirical data on the effects to be expected on traffic. The aim of the study is the scientific monitoring of the participation of Personal Light Electric Vehicle in road traffic and the evaluation of the resulting effects. The study focuses on the following aspects of road safety: the current accident situation in Germany and a forecast, in-depth analysis of accident causes and injury patterns, and the potential for conflict with other road users, in particular children, people with restricted mobility and senior citizens. Other issues to be investigated include traffic flow, user behaviour, user characteristics and personal protective equipment.

Analysis of freight vehicle accidents on slippery road (>12t gross vehicle weight) (82.0733)
All newly registered freight vehicles are equipped with emergency brake assistance systems. These systems not only brake, they also emit warnings to give drivers the chance to avoid impending accidents by themselves. The warning strategies of the assistance systems are currently mainly designed for optimal road conditions. If the road coefficient of friction drops and simultaneously the transferable vehicle deceleration, it would make sense to adjust the warning times in order to give the driver the opportunity to avoid the accident caused by braking. For this, a reliable knowledge of the currently available adhesion is useful. The aim of the research project is to quantify the potential for influencing the accident by taking the coefficient of friction into account in the warning and emergency braking phase of emergency brake assistance systems. For this purpose, the effect of reduced adhesion in the event of accidents involving freight vehicles is analyzed on the basis of European accident databases and national accident statistics. In a benefit analysis the number of avoidable accidents is quantified by a adapted warning and a corresponding de-escalating driver reaction.

HEADSTART (5118005)
Rapid technological progress in the field of automated and connected driving offers great potential for making the traffic of the future safer, more efficient and more comfortable. At the same time, the validation of the safe operation of automated and connected driving functions is particularly complex and correspondingly challenging. An international consortium has submitted the project "HEADSTART" (Harmonised European Solutions for Testing Automated Road Transport) as part of the European Research Framework Programme Horizon 2020. HEADSTART aims to further develop and harmonize test and validation processes for the safe operation of automated and connected driving, including the associated key technologies - for example in the areas of communication technology, IT security, determination of the position. All test environments from simulative investigations to real driving tests are considered. The requirements of all important interest groups should also be taken into account: Authorities and institutions in the fields of legislation and type approval, as well as consumer protection organisations, technology developers, etc.

Anxiety of inclination (82.710 / 5118042)
Motorcycle users are among the most vulnerable road users. Due to their driving dynamics and the location of the roads they drive on most often, the severity of their accidents is above average. As largely unprotected road users, they are particularly prone to serious injuries in accidents. The age, experience, attitudes and lifestyles of motorcyclists in particular influence their driving behaviour and thus their individual exposure and accident risk. In summary, the typical accident sequence in a motorcycle accident on country roads can be described as a loss of control over the motorcycle. As a result, the motorcycle leaves the road or collides with an oncoming vehicle. It is noticeable that these accidents are less due to the fact that driving dynamic limits have been reached. Rather, driving deficits seem to be the cause. A reconstruction of fatal accidents showed that none of the drivers had exceeded an inclination value of 20°. As a result, they were carried into oncoming traffic. Almost all accidents could have been avoided without reducing the speed simply by increasing the inclination. Driver errors in connection with the inclination thus seem to be promising starting points for the reduction of motorcycle accidents on country roads. The aim of the research project is to evaluate the inclination driven by a broad group of drivers, both in everyday life and in dangerous situations. A methodology is to be developed that allows a reproducible situation analysis. This should be used for a more detailed accident analysis and for the development of future training methods.

Assessment of a highly automated driving function in terms of the technical requirements to be expected (5117011)
Automated driving is a central topic for the future in the automotive and supply area. Gaps in the areas of testing and approval of automated vehicles are to be closed in the PEGASUS project promoted by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (project for the establishment of generally accepted quality criteria, tools and methods as well as scenarios and situations for the release of highly automated driving functions). The objective is to design and develop the central elements of a tool chain to facilitate automated driving functions. The FAT is aimed at comparing the method of approving automated vehicles elaborated in the PEGASUS project which covers the entire product development process with a method to be developed purely from the point of view of vehicle safety. As a result, the challenges arising in the development of technical vehicle regulations for highly automated vehicles are to be pinpointed. The situation database implemented in PEGASUS as well as the emerging further development of the test scenarios elaborated so far in international bodies, consumer protection and international research programmes are to serve as a foundation for the method to be developed. The requisite method comprises the derivation of the test cases including the catalogue of relevant environmental conditions, the conducting of vehicle tests and their evaluation. The comparative analysis is to be available shortly after the end of the PEGASUS project. BASt will be involved in the project as an associated partner and will contribute results to PEGASUS in parallel.

Assessment of active vehicle safety by EuroNCAP (5188001)
The assessment of passive vehicle safety by EuroNCAP has now become a well-functioning means of consumer protection and also serves to raise the safety standard of vehicles. This assessment programme is continuously developed towards active vehicle safety (PNCAP). The Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) collaborates in the working groups of the EuroNCAP consortium to represent German interests in matters of active vehicle safety and its assessment. The objective is to contribute and assert German ideas on vehicle safety assessment in the working groups so as to sustainably improve the EuroNCAP procedure. Automatic emergency braking systems for vehicle-vehicle and vehicle-passenger constellations (AEB: autonomous emergency braking and AEB VRU: autonomous emergency braking vulnerable road users), lane support systems (LSS) and speed assist systems (SAS) have so far been assessed in the PNCAP. The next steps planned at PNCAP are assessment procedures for crossing and oncoming traffic scenarios as well as for pedestrians at night and cyclist scenarios.

Lighting equipment (5116002)
Seeing and being seen are two important aspects of active vehicle safety. On the one hand, good headlights are needed to enable drivers to see far enough at night. On the other hand, the driver’s own vehicle must be visible so that it is not overlooked. The latter applies both at night and during the day. Vehicle lighting should also be designed so that it does not irritate or dazzle other road users. BASt is examining these light-related subjects that influence road safety in more detail and in great depth where necessary in the course of research and committee work. This involves both in-house research by BASt and third party research.

Automatic emergency braking system for motorcycles (82.0661)
Automatic emergency braking systems are making ever greater inroads into the passenger vehicle sector. Yet further penetration into deeper market segments is expected now that these systems are taken into account in Euro NCAP test requirements. Against the background of fairly constant accident figures involving motorcyclists in recent years, the question arises as to how such braking systems might be transferred to two-wheeled vehicles. The objective of this project is to identify areas of ride dynamics which permit automated braking interventions without danger, and also where applicable to ascertain the amount of delay for the specific area. It should furthermore estimate the potential of corresponding braking systems to reduce motorcycle accidents. This estimation of potential is useful when making decisions about initiating additional research, also as preparation for regulations, or when taking further action at the policy-making level. Warning systems should be regarded as a sub-group of emergency braking systems, and must similarly be taken into consideration.