Design School


Vulnerable road users

Group: Behavioural Safety

Project: Vulnerable Road Users - Intelligent Transport Systems (VRU-ITS)

Investigating how to improve intelligent transport systems for vulnerable road users

3 years, 2013 - 2016



European Commission within FP7


VTT - Technical Research Centre of Finland

CIDAUT - Foundation for Transport and Energy Research and Development (Spain)

NXP (The Netherlands)

TNO (The Netherlands)

SICE (Spain)

POLIS (Belgium)

ECORYS (The Netherlands)

FACTUM (Austria)


Around 1.25 million people die each year as the result of road traffic accidents.  Around half of these deaths are vulnerable road users, who are usually pedestrians, motorcyclists or cyclists.  

In 2013 researchers from the School embarked upon a project to investigate vulnerable road users perspectives of road use.  This pioneering project aims to provide a set of recommendations for future Intelligent Transport Systems applications aimed at improving the safety, mobility, and comfort of vulnerable road users.

Intelligent Transport Systems are usually a set of applications which aim to provide different services to aid transport and traffic managment.  These systems also help users make safer and more corodinated use of transport networks.  Past Intelligent Transport Systems success has been achieved primarily through adaptation and improvements to vehicles and infrastructure, while vulnerable road users have reaped fewer benefits. Other EU co-funded projects have considered vulnerable road users from a safety viewpoint, although keeping a vehicle-centre focus. 

It is hoped that this project could hopefully lead to a full integration of vulnerable road users into the traffic system, which is currently not the case across Europe.

The project will achieve the following objectives:

1. Assess societal impacts of selected Intelligent Transport Systems and provide recommendations for policy and industry regarding Intelligent Transport Systens in order to improve the safety and mobility of vulnerable road users

2. Provide evidence-based recommended practices on how vulnerable road users can be integrated in Intelligent Transport Systems and on how HMI designs can be adapted to meet the needs of vulerable road users, and test these recommendations in field trials