Definition of user needs and 'hot topics'

Deliverable 2.1 of the H2020 project SafetyCube


Hagström, L.; Thomson, R.; Skogsmo, I.; Houtenbos, M.; Durso, C.; Thomas, P.; Elvik, R.; Wismans, J.



Safety CaUsation, Benefits and Efficiency (SafetyCube) is a European Commission supported Horizon 2020 project with the objective of developing an innovative road safety Decision Support System (DSS) that will enable policy-makers and stakeholders to select and implement the most appropriate strategies, measures and cost-effective approaches to reduce casualties of all road user types and all severities.

This report describes the kick-off workshop used to start a dialogue between the project and key stakeholders for road safety in Europe. The workshop both introduced the audience to the SafetyCube project as well as solicited input from the stakeholders that will form the structure and priorities of a DSS. A total of 30 delegates attended the event.

The workshop consisted of a brain storming activity and break out groups. The brainstorming was used to identify the “hot topics” of road safety that should be processed in a DSS. The “hot topics” suggested by the group were  subsequently sorted into different groups with similar themes like “Human”, “Vehicle”, and “Infrastructure”. The group “Human” had the greatest number of issues where young and elderly road users and the use of phones seem to be prioritized. The second most represented category was “Vulnerable road users”. There is an interest for the sharing of road environment between bicyclist, e-bikes, elderly and other traffic both in shared space 30 km/h –zones, crossings, and roundabouts. In the category “Infrastructure”, speed limits on highways in different countries and dynamic speed limits are important topics as well as road lighting, self-explaining roads, and forgiving roads. In the “Vehicle” category topics regarding semi-automated and automated driving are the highest prioritized.

The break out section was used to discuss three questions that are central to SafetyCube and the development of a DSS. The questions and the feedback from the delegate were as follows:

  • Q1: How to speed up the progress of reaching European road safety targets?
    Most answers to Question 1 regard influencing policy makers. To make progress in reaching any formal road safety targets, road safety should be promoted on all levels and policy makers must be able to identify the savings in health effects, environment effects and injuries when countermeasures are implemented.
  • Q2: What information is needed when making decisions?
    The most prioritized information needed to make decisions is data from different organisational levels (European, National, and Local). Measures should be described in simple terms and information on side effects and the effect of combined measures are desirable. It is also important to have information of the effectiveness and cost benefit of each measure.
  • Q3: How should the decision support system be presented to make it useful – also over time?
    A DSS must be easy to use for all types of users (researchers, proficient users and non-experts) with risk- and cost benefits for the top 10 recommended measures per country. The DSS should be completely transparent in terms of how the background information is used. The DSS should allow looking at combinations of measures. The output from the DSS should help to convince decision makers.

The results of the workshop provide a useful framework for developing a DSS and identifying project focus topics. As this was a kick-off activity, there were no technical results from the project to present to the stakeholders. The current input gathered at the workshop will be used to begin developing the project activities but additional interaction with the stakeholders is needed as results develop. Input from the stakeholders suggest the project must:

  1. Develop a strategy for each work package to interact with the appropriate stakeholder group
  2. Continue discussing the first workshop topics with stakeholders that were not present on June 17, 2015
  3. Continue analysing the hot topics identified during the workshop, and those collected in subsequent meetings, to create the right focus for the project.
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European Commission, Brussels