Preprint Communication Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Towards Road Safety in LMICs: Vehicles that Guide Drivers on Self-Explaining Roads

Version 1 : Received: 24 November 2020 / Approved: 25 November 2020 / Online: 25 November 2020 (10:06:33 CET)

How to cite: Godthelp, H. Towards Road Safety in LMICs: Vehicles that Guide Drivers on Self-Explaining Roads. Preprints 2020, 2020110629 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202011.0629.v1). Godthelp, H. Towards Road Safety in LMICs: Vehicles that Guide Drivers on Self-Explaining Roads. Preprints 2020, 2020110629 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202011.0629.v1).

Abstract

Abstract: Traffic collisions cause a huge problem of public health in low and middle income countries.. The safe system approach is generally considered as the leading concept on the way to road safety. Based on the fundamental premise that humans make mistakes, the overall traffic system should be ‘forgiving’. Sustainable safe road design is one of the key elements of the safe system approach. However, the road design principles behind the safe system approach are certainly not leading in today’s infrastructure developments in most LMICs. Cities are getting larger and road networks are expanding. In many cases, existing through-roads in local communities are up-graded, resulting in heavy traffic loads and high speeds on places, that are absolutely not suited for this kind of through-traffic. Furthermore a safe system would require that functional design properties of cars and roads would be conceptually integrated, which is not the case at all. Although advanced driver assistance systems are on their way of development for quite a long period, their potential role in the safe system concept is mostly unclear and at least strongly underexposed. The vision on future cars is dominated by the concept of automation. This paper argues that the way to self-driving cars, should take a route via the concept of guidance, i.e. vehicles that guide drivers, both on self-explaining roads and on more or less unsafe roads. Such an in-vehicle support system may help drivers to choose transport mode, route and speed, based on criteria related to safety and sustainability. It is suggested to develop a driver assistance system using relatively simple and cheap technologies, particularly for the purpose of use in LMICs. Such a GUIDE (Generic User Interface for Driving Evolution) may make roads self-explaining - not only by their physical design characteristics - but also by providing in-car guidance for drivers. In future the functional characteristics of both cars and roads should be conceptualized into one integrated safe system, in which the user plays the central role. As such GUIDE may serve as the conceptual bridge between vehicle and roadway characteristics. It is argued that GUIDE is necessary to bring a breakthrough in road safety developments in LMICs and also give an acceleration towards zero fatalities in HICs.

Subject Areas

road safety; advanced driver assistance; safe system approach; LMIC

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