Federal Highway Research Institute

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Highway equipment

Passive safety of road equipment for motorcyclists (03.0601)
Accidents involving motorcyclists often result in serious injuries or even death. These accidents are particularly critical when there is a collision with an obstacle. One way to reduce the consequences of accidents is to make obstacles passively safe for motorcyclists. While there is already a standard and some national regulations for the passive safety of road equipment for vehicle occupants, such standards for motorcyclists have been lacking up to now. Initial studies in this area - for example, on plastic directional signs - have already indicated their potential, but so far they have only been individual considerations. The aim of the research project is therefore to develop a test procedure with which objects of road equipment can be tested with regard to their passive safety for motorcyclists. This project focuses explicitly not on vehicle restraint systems, but other objects should be able to be examined - for example, directional signs or support structures for traffic signs.

Criteria for passive safety in road equipment (03.0600)
Accident consequences for vehicle occupants are particularly severe if the vehicle runs off the road and hits an obstacle. Therefore, when designing the road side, care must be taken to ensure that it is forgiving. In a forgiving road side, there should be no obstacles or they should be protected by vehicle restraint systems. Another possibility is to use passively safe objects in the road side. These objects are yielding in the event of a collision and are thus not an obstacle for vehicles that arerunning off the road. However, for many objects used in the road side - for example certain traffic signs or light poles - there is still uncertainty about when they are to be considered passively safe or an obstacle. The aim of this research project is therefore to identify passively safe support structures depending on the need. Design recommendations are to be developed that describe constructions and also determine which conditions exist for attachments. Furthermore, limits for installation are to be defined.

Dynamic measurement systems – use of fast driving measuring vehicles for the network-wide recording of night visibility of road markings in dry conditions (03.0590)
For the road markings used on motorways in Germany, defined requirements are specified in the Zusätzlichen Technischen Vertragsbedingungen und Richtlinien für Markierungen (ZTV M 13). The traffic-related property of night visibility is especially important. Even though the measurement of night visibility in dry conditions according to DIN EN 1436 and ZTV M 13 is in principle permissible with both static and dynamic measurements and corresponding measuring systems are available on the market, the use of static, portable devices is currently the usual case in Germany. While portable measuring devices can provide precise and punctual survey data, the low power of static measuring devices compared to fast-moving vehicle-mounted systems makes them unsuitable for a network-wide and continuous assessment of the conditions of road markings. In addition, measurements with hand-held devices involve intervention in traffic and may constitute a hazard for the measurement personal. The aim of the project is to establish the basis for the practicability of validated dynamic measurement systems for the economic, network-wide and verified recording of the night visibility of road markings in Germany. The basis for a complete measurement and evaluation of night visibility is of great importance, especially in terms of road safety. In the context of the Connected and Automated Driving (CAD), it is also considered very likely that there will be a need for further knowledge on the net-wide condition detection of markings.

Measures to improve the quality of road marking through extended testing procedures (6419001)
Road markings serve the order and optical guidance of individual traffic. They make a significant contribution to traffic safety. For quality assurance and improvement, the road marking systems used on federal highways in Germany must meet the requirements defined in national regulations (Zusätzliche Technische Vertragsbedingungen und Richtlinien für Markierungen auf Straßen, ZTV M). These include, for example, a positive suitability test on the Turntable Road-Marking Test System (RPA) of BASt. In order to take account of technical developments in the field of testing and measuring technology as well as in the field of materials and products, the tests must be adapted to new developments and updated. The continuous further development of the test procedures is absolutely essential – against the background of a detailed and future oriented representation of reality as possible. Further developed measuring methods should contribute to improving the comparability of test results on the RPA with the actual behaviour of the markings on the road. The better the test conditions reflect the performance of the marking on the road, the better the quality of the markings on the road can be.

Analysis of influencing factors and parameters for the machine detection of road markings (03.0581)
In the context of connected and automated driving (CAD), road markings for lateral positioning are becoming increasingly important. The main objectives of this project is to identify influence factors and their corresponding parameters which are relevant for the machine vision of road markings for automated driving on federal highways. The results shall serve as a basis for analyzing the existing situation, deriving the need of action for quality requirements as well as the availability and maintenance of road markings.

EU research project HADRIAN (5419007)
The EU research project HADRIAN (Holistic Approach for Driver Role Integration and Automation Allocation for European Mobility Needs) aims at the safe use of a vehicle equipped with several different systems of different automation levels. The safe use of an automation system requires the driver to know which parts of the driving task can be performed by a system, where possible system limits lie and which tasks the driver may still have to perform. The overall goal of the EU project HADRIAN is to research a safe human-machine interface that ensures that drivers are always aware of their role, even when switching between functions of different automation levels. System boundaries of automated driving are mostly triggered by situations in the vehicle's environment, so that there is a correlation between the vehicle-internal driver involvement and the road infrastructure, which is considered in the project. BASt and 15 other European partners from industry, science and the public sector are working together in the project, which is funded by the EU within the Horizon 2020 Programme.

Special solutions for vehicle restraint systems in special situations on country roads (6418000)
It has become evident in practice that untested system solutions are frequently used primarily on country roads and that no systems exist at all for certain situations. Space-restricted situations and interruptions are just some examples requiring tested solutions. The test standard DIN EN 1317 for vehicle restraint systems (VRS) places requirements on the testing of longitudinal protective equipment, collision absorbers, initial and final structures as well as transition structures. Structures attuned to the local peripheral conditions (so-called special solutions) are new developments which cannot, however, be clearly assigned to any VRS type. They have not so far been tested and their behaviour in the event of a collision is categorised as critical in many cases. The development of new special solutions for specific areas of use are welcomed to improve traffic safety on country roads. The performance and practical suitability for the respective area of use of any such systems is to be demonstrated using suitable impact tests. The project will systematically analyse typical situations, particularly on country roads, and develop requirements to be placed on special solutions and their testing on this basis.

Qualification of the road restraint systems with improved protection for motorcyclists according to the current European specifications (03.0516)
With the aim of improving road safety for motorcyclists, different motorcyclist-friendly guards have been developed in Germany, which are deployed particularly along sections of road with a high volume of motorcycle traffic (BASt reports V157 and V193). The technical specification CEN/TS 1317-8:2012 “Road restraint systems: motorcycle road restraint systems which reduce the impact severity of motorcyclist collisions with safety barriers” was published in 2012. The assessment criteria contained is this specification differ in part from German assumptions taken as basis for tests in the past. As a result, the systems used in Germany may not satisfy the European requirements. This is to be investigated in this project and possible recommendations for action made.

Effect of road markings on traffic safety (82.0609)
The project aims to quantify the impact of longitudinal markings on country roads on traffic safety during the day and night. The impact of the road markings on safety-relevant behaviour is to be determined for this purpose. The project will investigate how the absence of markings can impact traffic safety. The influence of different road types, cross-sections, marking symbols, weather conditions and context-related peripheral conditions is to be considered here. The potential for further safety improvements by the targeted use of markings is to be determined within the peripheral conditions determined by the guidelines for road marking. The project also aims to evaluate the extent to which the provision and maintenance of high quality road markings is generally advantageous at a macro-economic level, and whether marking is to be afforded special importance in future with respect to the demographic development of the driver collective and the increasing use of driver assistance systems.

Criteria for the assessment of the hazard potential for motorcyclists from sharp-edged components of road restraint systems (03.0514)
Dangerous bends along roads travelled by motorcycles are usually equipped with special lower guardrails. Protection systems without lower guardrails should also be designed with the safety of motorcyclists in mind where possible and no use made of sharp-edged parts. For example, back in the eighties sharp-edged posts of protection systems were replaced by rounded ones in order to reduce the hazard potential for motorcyclists involved in a crash. The technical criteria for the use of road restraint systems in Germany as well as the guidelines for road restraint systems (ZTV FRS 2013) also follow this basic concept of hazard avoidance. However, there is currently no research-backed definition of edge sharpness which is necessary to assess protection systems. The current project aims at developing and conducting a test programme on components of protection systems using accident analysis and hazard classification of known systems. Criteria for the assessment of sharp-edged parts in road restraint systems and their influence on the danger to motorcyclists on impact are then to be assessed to permit the assessment of road restraint systems in invitations to tender.