Vulnerable Road Users (VRU) are defined in the ITS Directive as "non-motorised road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists as well as motor-cyclists and persons with disabilities or reduced mobility and orientation".
ITS-based road safety and security applications have proved their effectiveness, but the overall benefit for society depends on their wider deployment.
At the same time there are some safety-related issues that require further attention, e.g. the Human-Machine Interface (HMI) deployed or the safe integration of Nomadic Devices. It is recommended to verify the impact of a broader roll-out of mainstream ITS services on the 'Vulnerable Road User' – a heterogeneous group that is disproportionately represented in statistics on injuries and road traffic casualties.
Deployment of the services that turn out to be beneficial should be accelerated whereas the potential negative effects should be mitigated as much as possible.
The challenge of action 3.4 of the ITS Action Plan is to identify, and in a second stage prioritise, those ITS applications and services that can have a most significant impact on the various categories of vulnerable road users.
The European Commission in 2011 completed a dedicated study to assess the application areas and services that either
- demonstrate maximum benefits,
- enclose potential risks, or
- include issues that need further attention
for the various categories of VRU.
The results of this study and the recommendations for follow-up action at European level provide valuable input for complementary analysis or research and evaluation.
The outcome of this work provides a foundation for potential work towards specifications under the ITS Directive.