News article

MeBeSafe project: increased road safety through nudging

The MeBeSafe project (Measures for Behaving Safely in Traffic), started on 1 May 2017, runs for 3.5 years and is funded by the European Commission (Horizon 2020). SWOV is one of the 15 partners in this study. The aim is to use sensor-based feedback such as 'nudging' and 'coaching' to develop new measures to steer drivers and cyclists towards safer behavior.

'Nudging' encourages road users 'unconsciously' to make a desired choice. This unconscious behavioral influence will lead to the avoidance of risky situations - which will lead to fewer accidents in general. MeBeSafe will apply these measures via safety systems (ADAS) in the car and via road infrastructure.

The solutions developed within the MeBeSafe project are thoroughly tested in multiple preliminary investigations to ensure that they are the best possible solutions to date. MeBeSafe tested a range of different solutions in Gothenburg and Eindhoven, from a signal in the vehicle to increase the attention of car drivers to cyclists, to a row of lamps that create an illusion of light moving towards the driver, as well as stripes on the road influencing cyclists and an app to coach truck drivers.

Coaching feedback uses the conscious path to behavioral change by encouraging road users to reflect on their behavior and thereby making use of information about their actual driving styles, obtained from In-Vehicle Monitoring-Systems (IVMS). Through an app feedback is given about the driving style and traffic behavior.

These measures will now be applied in practice to be able to evaluate the effects. For a period of six months, they will be tested by people in everyday situations to obtain accurate statistics about how they work, who they work for and how they can make the streets safer.

SWOV is responsible, among other things, for implementing the infrastructural bicycle nudge in an experimental setup, and in collaboration with TNO, in a field study. The flow of cyclists improved after the implementation of the nudge. At this stage of the project, the nudge field study is implemented at the intersection of two bicycle facilities. The expected results include improved safety and traffic flow, comparable with the experimental study.