APROSYS and APSN hold major road safety conference
Jointly organised by the APSN Network and the APROSYS Integrated Project, the Sixth European Vehicle Passive Safety Conference in Vienna in May 2006 featured major presentations by leading European road transport players.
Road transport remains the least safe mode of transport, with road accidents representing the main cause of death for persons under 45. Every year, road accidents kill about 50 000 people in the EU Member States. Many more are injured, often severely.
According Jac Wismans of TNO Automotive in the Netherlands, "We are talking about a very large social problem. The number of people being killed is simply too high. We can look at a variety of strategies for changing that – better roads, better brakes and the like. These measures are aimed at stopping accidents from happening in the first place, but if we assume that accidents will still happen, then we have to look at strategies for minimising the damage. This is where the APSN and APROSYS come in."
The FP6 APROSYS project (Advanced protection systems) is developing and introducing critical technologies that improve passive safety for all European road users. The field of passive safety concerns in particular human injury biomechanics, vehicle crashworthiness and protection systems. Furthermore, APROSYS aims to increase the level of competitiveness of the European industry by developing new safety technologies.
Meanwhile, APSN (Advanced vehicle passive safety network) is working to further accelerate improvements in road safety, mobilising and integrating European scientific and technological expertise for the development of new protective technologies for all relevant accident conditions.
The Sixth European Vehicle Passive Safety Conference in Vienna featured key presentations by major European road safety researchers. A special session on integrated safety systems and a discussion panel, chaired by Fabrizio Minarini of the European Commission’s Information Society Directorate-General, explored how active and passive safety could be merged to a greater extent.
In particular, Minarini advocated the need to devise a testing programme combining active and passive safety. He also announced the European Commission’s intention to launch a call for the development of such a system under the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7).
The event also featured a series of presentations of ongoing research on a range of road safety-related topics, including:
- Intelligent safety systems for side impact protection
- Pedestrian-heavy vehicle accidents
- Head-windscreen impacts
- Development of the small female crash-test dummy
- Advances in the virtual testing modelling
- Towards a dependable electronic platform for integrated safety
- A Global telematics system for on-line safety applications
Also represented were a number of related EU-supported research initiatives, including the IRCOBI Research Strategy, the AIDE Project, PReVENT, TRACE, and the SAFESPOT Integrated Project. Finally, the winner of the Young APSN Award presented his work on the influence of rear loading on the protection of child car occupants.
In his closing remarks, Jac Wismans called for a renewed commitment to road safety, “…a worldwide problem that needs worldwide solutions. This means broader co-operation with both European and non-European partners.”