i-DREAMS is a project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme which aims to set up a framework for the definition, development, testing and validation of a context-aware ‘safety tolerance zone’ for on-road driving, within a smart Driver and Road Environment Assessment and Monitoring System.
The i-DREAMS consortium consists of 13 partners, researchers as well as industry partners, from 8 different countries. During this 3-year project, the goal is to set up a platform to define, develop, test and validate a ‘Safety Tolerance Zone’ to prevent drivers from getting too close to the boundaries of unsafe operation by mitigating risks in real-time and after the trip.
New opportunities to tackle road safety
Several factors of driver state negatively impact road safety, such as distraction (in-vehicle or external), fatigue and drowsiness, health concerns (e.g. illness, frailty, cognitive state) and extreme emotions (e.g. anxiety, stress, anger). Moreover, differences in socio-cultural factors are still among the main determinants of road risks. At the same time, technological developments make massive and detailed operator performance data easily available. For example via new in-vehicle sensors that capture detailed driving style and contextual data. This creates new opportunities for the detection and design of customised interventions to mitigate the risks, increase awareness and upgrade driver performance, constantly and dynamically. The optimal exploitation of these opportunities is the challenge that i-DREAMS faces.
How will i-DREAMS make a difference? The consortium perspective
Prof. dr. Tom Brijs, IMOB-UHasselt (project co-ordinator): “i-DREAMS will make a significant step forward towards a safer transport system by taking advantage of increasing automation. We specifically focus on the driver-vehicle-environment interactions and on the human factors affecting the behaviour of drivers. We will make use of technology to monitor and analyse driving behavior. This technology can intervene both during and after the ride. During experiments, for example, sensors in the steering wheel will monitor the driver’s heart rhythm, so that both the driving behavior and the alertness and emotional state of the driver are measured in real-time. For example, the car could give a warning if the sensor detects that the driver is no longer concentrated. Even after the car ride, the driver can be briefed about any dangerous traffic situations that occurred while driving. This can have a sensitizing effect.