A press release published by Vicomtech | Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt | Capgemini | CERTH/HIT | TNO | FICOSA | CEA | TECNALIA | DLR | FEKA AUTOMOTIVE | NEVS | gestigon | IRT SystemX | SYRMIA | ESI Group | Humanetics
Brussels, December 14, 2022 – The AWARE2ALL consortium, coordinated by the Spanish RTO Vicomtech and comprising 16 European organisations, has been selected by the EU’s key funding program for research and innovation, Horizon Europe, to developinclusive and innovative safety and Human Machine Interface (HMI) systems to pave the way towards Highly Automated Vehicles (HAVs) deployment in traffic. A special focus will be put on underrepresented populations to ensure that results provide safety to any (type of) occupant and Human Road User (HRU).
It was estimated that human error was involved in about 95% of all EU road traffic accidents (according to the Road fatality statistics in the EU 2021). HAVs are expected to represent a safer alternative reducing collisions caused by human error, especially in high-risk driver scenarios (for example, drunk or distracted driving), with an expected penetration of 15% by 2030 and first applications in shuttles and shared cars.
The obstacles for HAVs introduction in the market mainly come from safety and human factors concerns. To overcome these obstacles, AWARE2ALL will effectively address the changes in road safety and in the interaction of different road users caused by the emergence of this vehicle typology, through the development of innovative technologies together with the corresponding tools and assessment methodologies.
AWARE2ALL's possibilities for action are approached from two different angles: inside and outside the vehicle.
Firstly, the system will be geared towards occupant safety. A continuous occupant monitoring state (OMS) will assess the situation inside the vehicle. In an emergency, it will decide, if possible, to make a transition of control to a driver or to perform a fallback manoeuvre and thus avoid a collision. If a collision is unavoidable, advanced passive safety systems will adapt to reduce the severity of injuries. At any time, the behaviour of HAV systems needs to be adequately and timely communicated to the occupants by internal HMI (iHMI).
Secondly, regarding the exterior of the vehicle, the system will focus on the safety of the HRUs. An environment perception system will allow the HAV to identify the situation outside the vehicle and anticipate dangerous situations. An external HMI (eHMI) will allow the vehicle to communicate with the HRUs.
All systems developed in AWARE2ALL will be implemented in a total of four demonstrators: passive safety in a virtual one (Demo 1), active safety and eHMI in two vehicles (Demo 2 and Demo 4) and iHMI in a hybrid form (Demo 3) that will include a vehicle that will run in a static driving simulator.
 HMI (human-machine interface) refers to in-car touch screens and buttons, push rotary controllers, swipe and gesture functions, and even speech recognition technology. HMI systems allow occupants to interact with the vehicle in a more natural way.
 HAV is considered as a Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) presenting SAE-L4 features (the car can handle the majority of driving situations independently)
 HRU includes vulnerable road users (VRUs – pedestrians, cyclists and motorists) and human driven vehicles (HDVs)