Within CAP (Crash Analysis and Prevention) this research core-area aims to understand how traffic safety is affected by driver behaviour, vehicles (including intelligent systems/vehicle automation), and the environment (e.g. other road users) in the pre-crash phase. Both epidemiological methods (using for example crash data), and virtual simulations (typically counterfactual), are used to estimate how traffic safety is affected by these components – separately and in combination. The focus is on understanding crash risk, but also the severity of the outcome is studied.
Successful Safety Evaluation research must include components that are covered in CAP’s other core areas. For example, the computational road user behaviour models developed in the core area Road user behaviour: Analysis and Modelling are used in the virtual assessment, and the core area Crash Causation Mechanisms provides information needed for the identification of the most relevant conflict scenarios and the development of reliable counterfactual simulation methods.
Our research ranges from studying the safety effects of different driver characteristics and behaviours in manual driving to benefit assessment of highly automated vehicles.
The results of the research are aimed to be used by both industry (vehicle/system design) and governments (setting guidelines/legislation). We are active partners of the Safety Evaluation research arena internationally and contribute to knowledge sharing through disseminating our methods and results in peer-reviewed scientific journals and conferences, and through standardization work in ISO.