ADAS&ME is a major EU project focused on automation, the human condition and the human environment. The budget is EUR 9.6 million and VTI is the coordinator.
ADAS stands for Advanced Driver Assistance System.
ADAS&ME in turn is an acronym for “Adaptive ADAS to support incapacitated drivers & Mitigate Effectively risks through tailor made HMI under automation”. 31 different partners are participating in the project. From the Swedish research sector, in addition to VTI, the universities of Uppsala and Stockholm, and the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise represented by Autoliv, Scania and SmartEye are engaged.
“The entire project is about taking everything we know about automation and combining it with what we know about the detection and prediction of driver status – such as fatigue, illness and stress – and adding to this the situational factors, that is to say, the various situations in which people can end up,” explains Anna Anund, Research Director at VTI and project manager for ADAS&ME.
The knowledge acquired is intended primarily to be used to increase the level of safety in the transition between driver and vehicle, and vice versa.
“The entire project is based on our use of modern HMI,” says Anna Anund.
At VTI, many researchers specialise in driver status and HMI (Human Machine Interface). This was one of the deciding factors in VTI being entrusted with the task of coordinating ADAS&ME, which began in 2016 and is due for completion in the first half of 2020. Right now, the project has reached around the halfway point. The needs of people, i.e. the users, have been analysed, as has the current state of technology. With this as a starting point, seven scenarios have been identified for which solutions will be developed.
Test in a virtual environment
One scenario involves autonomous docking at bus stops.
“We know from previous trials that over 40 per cent of bus drivers in regular traffic are struggling to stay awake on two to four occasions a month or more. One reason for this is stress.”
And one particular stress factor for many drivers is stopping at bus stops. In addition to handling the bus, they must maintain complete awareness of all vulnerable road users and also keep to timetables.
Anna Anund hopes that this is a situation where an automatic driver support system could be of great benefit. The speed would be reduced automatically, the drivers would avoid a great deal of stress and perhaps be less likely to experience fatigue. It is also quite common for passengers to have falling accidents on busses when rushed drivers brake or set off too abruptly. Such accidents could be completely avoided with a more automated system.
“Based on this reasoning, we have developed a bus in a VR environment at VTI that stops and starts autonomously at bus stops. In September this year, we are starting a trial with bus drivers using the virtual bus in the motion-based simulator. The idea is to take a closer look at what is causing them stress and why. This scenario is the only one that will be simulator-based, but it is inspiring a great deal of interest as it represents an innovation.”
Other scenarios will take place on a test track in Spain next summer.
Read more about the ADAS&ME project.