The number of road traffic fatalities in Germany decreased steadily until 2010. However, since then the statistics show that the number of collisions are on the rise again. Reasons for this trend can be found, for example, in increased traffic volume, stress in everyday life or distraction whilst driving. As a result, dangerous situations on the road are often not assessed correctly or are recognised too late by road users. This shows a need for action to break new grounds in road safety work. This is exactly where gefahrenstellen.de (dangerspots.org) comes in. On the one hand, this website and app currently allows road users to report road sections which they consider dangerous. On the other hand, the continuously updated data is compiled and made available to other key players involved in road safety work. These key players include e.g. local authorities, police, universities and research institutes and engineering offices. In the future additional players such as navigation system providers and even car manufacturers can be added and will be able to benefit from the data.
Future improvements in the system will provide increased functionality of the website and app with the intention of resulting in an early warning system to make people aware of dangerous areas on the road. In the long-term, navigation software can be upgraded to indicate safer routes in terms of roads, cycling paths and footpaths, based on our data. When road users approach a known hazard zone, they can be provided with timely warnings of the dangers ahead directly on their smartphone or on-board navigation system. Thus, the system will allow drivers to adapt their driving behaviour accordingly.
Research project boosts developments
This comprehensive approach is accompanied and validated by the research project “Early Detection of Dangerous Areas in road traffic using smart data” – EDDA+. The research of EDDA+ does not only boost the website and app developments of gefahrenstellen.de, it also adds extensive scientific support by renowned experts on this topic and by public sector bodies.
The research project EDDA+ compares hazard points identified by road users with other data sources, such as official collision data recorded by the police and kinematic data from in-car data boxes or smartphones driver apps. By blending and analysing these datasets, it is possible to identify danger spots at an early stage and eliminate these within the framework of a coherent road safety programme. In addition, this information about danger spots is to be incorporated into intelligent applications for road users.
Another key aspect of EDDA+ is to ensure that the system and its underlying data are compliant with stringent German and European data protection and privacy regulations while also being easily understandable and customizable for other applications. The aim is to make the output suitable for use by local authorities, political players, science & research organisations as well as to appropriate businesses in order to assist their road safety related activities.
This new database for up-to-date information about danger spots could also serve as blueprint for other countries. In this line, the development plan of the research project also includes a test of the applicability of the FeGiS+ approach in neighbouring European countries.
Project partner EDDA+
Since the EDDA feasibility study, the Initiative for Safer Roads has acted as coordinator of the collaborative effort working together with the Institute for Highway Engineering at the RWTH Aachen University (ISAC). For the further development of the project within the EDDA+ framework, the German Police University (DHPol) - Department of Traffic Science & Traffic Psychology, PTV Planung Transport Verkehr AG and DTV-Verkehrsconsult GmbH are contributing to the project consortium.
The research project EDDA+ is funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) within the framework of the funding scheme “mFUND” in the second funding stage. With its research initiative mFUND the BMVI supports R+D-projects for data based applications for mobility 4.0. EDDA+ is also supported by TÜV Rheinland as official “mFund” programme administrator.