An Innovative and Cost-effective Solution for Reducing Road Safety Risks Related to Heavy Goods Vehicles
Lone-Eirin Lervåg, SINTEF Technology And Society, Trond Foss, SINTEF Technology And Society
This paper addresses an innovative and cost-effective solution for automatic and targeted selection of heavy goods vehicles for inspection, based on deployment of ITS (intelligent transport system). Utilization of the system will result in a more safe and sustainable transport system.
The Global Plan for Decade of Action for Road Safety is based on 5 pillars: Road Safety Management, Safer roads and mobility, Safer vehicles, Safer Road users and Post crash response. This paper addresses an innovative and cost-effective solution that addresses the activities in several of the 5 pillars focusing on Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV). However, in addition to the road safety issues the solution also addresses issues like equal conditions for the national and foreign transport service companies and the working environment for the HGV drivers. The solution described is developed in a Research and Development project (NonStop) funded by the Research Council of Norway and the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA).
NPRA has an important role in planning, implementing measures and monitoring road safety in Norway. The vehicle inspection is one of the crucial measures in the NPRA work. Today, the inspections are considered to be too few and not sufficiently effective. The inspections take place at NPRA control stations and the chances of being selected for an inspection are small. Innovative deployment of intelligent transport system (ITS) will enable new services that allow for more efficient and cost-effective vehicle inspections through a targeted selection of vehicles.
The solution, being implemented as a real-life system in a beta version spring 2013, is based on collecting vehicle information upstream the control station and records in different vehicle related data bases. The NonStop system includes solutions for automatic number plate recognition (OCR) and sensors that measure physical attributes of the vehicles such as weight, height, length and brake conditions, as well as links to data records of legal obligations and misdemeanours, lack of mandatory periodic controls, insurance etc. The collected information is evaluated by a set of vehicle selection rules and the result is sent to the controller supporting him in his selection of vehicles to be controlled. The beta version will be replaced with a more automatic version where the NonStop sends a message to the driver by different communication channels telling the driver to pull over for inspection at the control station.
Utilisation of the NonStop system will result in a more safe and sustainable transport system, through achievement of the following objectives:
• NonStop will contribute to socio-economic benefits with regards to improved traffic safety, reduced environmental impacts, reduced unnecessary land use and more knowledge of the current transport situation (increased traffic data collection).
• NonStop will contribute to more equitable conditions concerning competition between transport service providers, through the increased likelihood of detecting vehicles and companies who fail to comply with applicable laws and regulations.
• NonStop will contribute to more efficient use of enforcement authorities, by ensuring a more targeted selection of vehicles for inspection.
• NonStop will contribute to increased efficiency of transport, through the reduction of the number of unnecessary stops in controls and greater predictability with respect to the control situation.
The main research challenge in this project is to evaluate the impacts of utilizing innovative ITS for targeted selection of vehicles for inspection. Important research questions include 1) how can the system be established in order to provide optimum efficiency gains for road authorities and the transport industry, and 2) what are the impacts of utilizing the NonStop system. Impact evaluation will include effects on the transport industry, the road authorities and the society.
The evaluation methodology comprises three main areas of impact assessment; technical functionality and reliability, user acceptance, and socio-economic assessment. There is yet no consensus on how to evaluate ITS services, however, the methodology for evaluating impacts of NonStop is inspired and shaped by input from the FESTA methodology framework, the CONDUITS general aims and preliminary advice from the expert group on evaluation of ITS services within the on-going EasyWay project. The impact assessment will include both quantitative and qualitative performance indicators, based on measurements, registrations and observations, interviews and surveys. Large-scale deployment of the NonStop system in Norway will depend on the results from the evaluation study.
The full paper will describe the NonStop concept, the user requirement study and the evaluation methodology.
Association for European Transport