Fast Forward: Can technology help the vulnerable road user?

We all know that our vehicles have become more technologically sophisticated in recent years. Anti-lock braking systems are now fitted as standard on all new models of car. They have been followed by other initiatives such as Electronic Stability Control, Driver Assistance Systems and Intelligent Speed Adaptation.

All of these have focused primarily on improving the safety of the vehicle occupant. Some of them have been extensively researched before fitment; others have been introduced quickly with less real-world evidence. Can any of them also help to reduce the risk of the vulnerable? This is a key question that the speakers at this conference will attempt to answer.

The programme takes a deliberately wide definition of vulnerable. In the context of the day, the vulnerable are those over-represented in crashes and injuries: pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are obviously key groups. However, we should not overlook the elderly road user or young drivers, who are most at risk on our roads.

In this context, technology can have a key role to play in helping to maintain safe mobility and in reducing crash involvement. Greater use of event data recorders, for example, may enable better monitoring of unsafe behaviours by young and newly qualified drivers. In-vehicle technologies may also have a place in alerting drivers about potential crashes with pedestrians and in preventing these from happening.

The Department for Transport consultation on “A Safer Way” identified that technology offered some help in continuing to cut casualties on our roads. This conference will explore the extent of the contribution that it can make and help us to draw some conclusions.

09.00 Registration

09.50 Opening remarks Robert Gifford, Executive Director, PACTS
10.00 Transport Visions. for the Future. Kris Beuret, SRA
10.30 Driving into Old Age – how harnessing technology can prolong safe driving. Charles      Musselwhite,  University of the West of England

11.00 Coffee

11.20 Reducing Pedestrian Casualties – the role of vehicle design and technology. Richard Cuerden, TRL
11.50 Are Driver Assistance Systems relevant for crashes with pedestrians? Oliver Carsten, Leeds  University
12.20 Reputation Counts for Everything Colin Wilson, IBI Group

12.50 Lunch

1.50 Who are the Powered Two Wheeler Riders and what does risk mean to them? Simon Christmas
2.20 Human-Motorcycle Interaction – the need to understand human factors. Alex Stedmon, Nottingham University

2.50 Tea/coffee

3.10 Helping Young Drivers through Embracing Technology. Adrian Hide, Staffordshire County Council
3.40 Foot-LITE – safer and greener driving. Mark Fowkes, MIRA
4.10 Closing Remarks. Robert Gifford

Accommodation is avaliable for the night of 9th March. To book contact the University Conference Park firectly on Tel: 0121 415 8400, Fax: 0121 414 6339, or Email:

Presentation 1: Are Driver Assistance Systems Relevant to Crashes with Pedestrians? Prof Oliver Carsten, Institute for Transport Studies, Leeds University. 

Presentation 2: HMI: Human-Motorcycle Interaction, Dr Alex Stedmon, Centre for Motorcycle Ergonomics & Rider Human Factors, Dept of Mechanical, Materials, Manufacturing Engineering (M3), University of Nottingham.

Presentation 3: Reducing Pedestrian Casualties- the role of Vehicle Design, Richard Cuerden, TRL 

Presentation 4: Reputation Counts for Everything! Colin Wilson, IBI Group. Supporting Document 4

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