In response to the growing concern among European citizens over road safety, the European Commission (EC) has adopted ambitious road safety goals. In continuation with the previous roadmaps for 2010 and 2020, the EC has set a new 50% reduction target for the number of fatalities and serious injuries on European roads by 2030, as a milestone on the way toward the so-called ‘Vision Zero‘. Although the EU is already a world leader in reducing road traffic deaths and serious injuries, most of the efforts have been placed on making car drivers and passengers much safer, for example through European Union legislation on vehicle safety, but we have not been so successful in making those outside the car safer: in EU cities, 70% of the deaths and serious injuries are now occurring to vulnerable road users (VRUs).

In order to reach the policy targets, solutions addressing the challenges of a rapidly changing EU urban mobility landscape with enormous operational uncertainties, are needed. Increased urbanisation and the resultant accumulation of individuals in small geographical areas calls for sustainable modes and micro-mobility services for the transport of people and goods, leading to increased number of VRUs. Besides, the EU is facing the challenge of an ageing population with a projected increase of older people (aged 65 years or more), moving from 90.5 million at the start of 2019 to 129.8 million by 2050. Due to the above, the emergence of complex environments where unknown interactions between different types of VRUs and between VRUs and motorised vehicles is imminent. 

The project

SOTERIA aims to accelerate the achievement of the EC’s ‘Vision Zero’ goal for vulnerable road users (VRUs) by providing a holistic framework of innovative tools and services. The project partners are committed to designing solutions that promote safe and green travelling of VRUs, foster integration of electric micro-mobility vehicles in urban environments and enable more inclusive transport.

At the operational level, SOTERIA will uncover little explored behaviours of VRUs and will engage Living Lab communities (targeted end-users and stakeholders) in the co-creation of urban safety solutions and road infrastructure designs. Traffic simulation models and data-driven routing applications leveraging explainable Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be developed for informing policy decisions and interconnected services that nudge VRUs towards safer behaviours in dangerous traffic situations. 

The effectiveness of SOTERIA solutions will be demonstrated and validated within the Living Labs that will serve as real-world testing grounds, addressing different types of VRUs, including ageing and young population groups, pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists as well as two-wheeler riders. SOTERIA will set up four Living Labs, each with a specific demonstration theme, as follows: 

  • Living Lab #1 – Oxfordshire, United Kingdom: Safe and inclusive integration of micro-mobility to current mobility paradigms.
  • Living Lab #2 – Saxony, Germany: VRUs safety applications for generation Z.
  • Living Lab #3 – Madrid, Spain: Safe and shared mobility services for improving user well-being and clean urban environments.
  • Living Lab #4 – Chania/Igoumenitsa, Greece: Proactivity-based and micro-vehicle centric measures for unprotected VRUs.

SOTERIA’s goals

The project SOTERIA has the following goals: 

  1. To ensemble interactive living labs across multiple European sites for expediting the cocreation of safety-centric public spaces by, (a) considering unexplored behavioural characteristics of VRUs, (b) understanding functional performance of new types of micro-vehicles, (c) capitalising on intelligence generated through advanced accident analysis (d) and considering the impact of safety training on risk-free coexistence of users and vehicles in such spaces.
  2. To develop a modelling and simulation suite supported by a constellation of advanced accident analysis approaches utilising a plethora of heterogeneous data sources, integrated into a safe mobility data space, and supported by explainable-AI services, seamless interfacing, wearable devices and data sharing across various stakeholders.
  3. To facilitate the safe travelling of connected VRUs through the deployment of a federated platform of interconnected services and tools that can determine risk-free paths, improve the visibility of VRUs to vehicles, proactively inform VRUs of anticipated hazards and nudge all users to safer behaviours.
  4. To foster the safe integration of micro-mobility services in complex environments through better understanding of their demand, designing of situational awareness advisory systems and trialling of novel active safety solutions.
  5. To deploy and assess the SOTERIA solutions in four representative Living Lab cities and areas, addressing varying EU urban contexts, social conditions, gather qualitative and quantitative results, and validating their effectiveness.
  6. To accelerate the large take up of SOTERIA’s results through continuous activities that assure the exploitation of the proposed solutions, and provide policy recommendations documenting the lessons learnt.

Nommon’s role

Nommon will use SOTERIA’s geolocated big data sources for the analysis of travel behaviour and demand prediction (e.g., mobile network data, public transport smart card data, mobile applications data, etc.) in order to better identify the mobility needs of VRUs. The current solutions for analysing these data sources will be enhanced to improve the capabilities for analysing pedestrian and micromobility trips, as well as for evaluating the travel demand patterns of specific groups (e.g., the elderly). This will extend the capabilities of the accident and demand prediction techniques to an understanding on how accidents and near-missed events affect certain population groups depending on their contexts.

Nommon is involved in the development of a data-driven integrated accident modelling and analysis platform enabling the dynamic definition of multidimensional risk heatmaps for micromobility vehicles and the real-time generation of demonstrable risk mitigation countermeasures for their users. In addition, Nommon leads the Madrid Living Lab: “Safe and shared mobility services for improving user well-being and clean urban environment”.

Project phases

To reach its objectives SOTERIA is organised in four main phases:

  • Phase 1: “Living Lab Setup, Behavioural Modelling, Requirements Analysis and Co-Creation”, where the focus is on the setup of the SOTERIA Living Labs the deep understanding of VRU’s needs and definition of KPIs to reach policy driven safety goals, and the co-creation of infrastructure interventions. Each Living Lab will establish a multi-stakeholder community, involving public authorities, associations, experts and citizens in a co-creation process. This implies creating a multi-value environment where social innovation is sought for sustainable and widely accepted solutions specifications.
  • Phase 2: “Solutions Implementation, Agile development and Testing”, resulting in the realisation of initial SOTERIA solutions to be shown for demonstration and evaluated in a first round of testing pilots. It is important to note that SOTERIA has ensured access to the data sources and systems required for the implementation of its solutions in the network of cities.
  • Phase 3: “Living Lab Demonstrations and Impact Assessment”, where the focus is on recalibration of research and innovation objectives and – simultaneously – increased solutions adoption resulting in fully functional SOTERIA solutions for deployment in the second-round demonstrations. The results of the demonstrations are analysed in terms of their impact on VRUs and stakeholders’ decisions.
  • Phase 4: “Impact creation, Scale Up and Exploitation”, focusing on deriving common lessons learned and policy recommendations to be included in cities’ SUMPs and inform EU policies.

The SOTERIA project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon Europe Research & Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement Nº. 101077433.