SMART RRS is an FP7 SST 2007 RTD1 European collaborative project funded by the EC with the participation of 10 institutions from 5 countries. The project aims to develop a new smart road restraint system that will reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused in road traffic accidents by integrating primary and tertiary sensor systems in it, providing greater protection to all road users, warning motorists and emergency services of danger for prevention purposes and alerting emergency teams of accidents as they happen to minimize response time to the exact location of the incident. This new smart restraint system will:
Reduce the number of accidents through better information on the actual state of the road and traffic flow (climatic conditions, traffic flow, obstructions, hazards, accidents).
Eliminate dangerous profiles from road restraint systems (crash barriers) that currently endanger vulnerable road users.
Optimize road safety by providing exact information of where and when accidents happen in real-time.
The project obtained interesting results from an in-depth review of motorcycle accidents, which shows that some of the most aggressive elements for riders are protection systems installed on roadsides. These systems may be continuous, punctual, and rigid or wire rope. It is also learnt that the accidents involving roadside protective systems include high speeds and the rider commonly impacts the barrier in an upward position, with severe outcome. Some of the most important injuries received by riders are blunt impacts to the head, member amputation and severe thoracic intrusion.
Also, the dynamics of such accidents were researched, providing valuable information on where and how accidents take place and their outcome. Most of the accidents occur on rural roads, where a rider loses control and leaves the road, impacting some roadside obstacle. This impact is generally very severe, as actual roadside protection systems are not designed to absorb energy from the riders but from heavy vehicles instead.
The next step was to analyze actual road restraint systems evaluation methods and to include simulation and testing phases for both systems and subsystems, providing a previous idea of how a barrier would behave in case of accident.
All the previous steps have been completed and are now presented as a finished project during this year. The system includes primary and tertiary systems, followed by some evaluations of different designs of road barrier and energy absorbers. The project included barrier simulations and actual tests in specialized facilities, where the behavior of the system was analyzed.