The Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI) is one of the CCAM Partnership’s founding members. On 31 January, CONEBI organised for its members a special workshop focused on vulnerable road users (VRUs) and connected, cooperative and automated mobility. The workshop gathered several speakers from different horizons to open the discussions on the VRUs’ inclusion in the deployment of CCAM technologies.
Despite CONEBI actively discussing the inclusion of VRUs in future CCAM services, the topic has not yet gained widespread recognition among their (newer) members.
Find out below a summary of each intervention:
Manuel Marsilio from CONEBI outlined the background of their involvement in the CCAM topic, starting with the C-Roads and the CCAM Platform. The CCAM platform gathered a total of almost 400 public and private experts. The platform’s task was to provide advice and support to the European Commission in the field of testing and pre-deployment activities for CCAM. CONEBI’s input was, among others, to always consider VRUs in mixed traffic scenarios.
Representing CCAM Partnership, Marzena Jougounoux, provided a brief overview of the Partnership, its Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA), together with the open and upcoming calls for EU projects, underlining the ones where VRUs representation will be crucial, and went through some basic recommendations on how to prepare successful projects.
Sven Jansen from TNO presented his organisation’s long-lasting history of research related to cyclist safety, starting from the way the bicycle was built, introducing the helmet, and up to the emergency braking system of vehicles and the external airbags.
Johanna Tzanidaki from ERTICO explained several ongoing EU projects on urban mobility. She stressed the need for cyclists’ data to accomplish the next research steps.
Bart Lowyck from imec continued in the mobility data topic, explaining the current initiative of the Flanders Region in Belgium.
Stefan Deix from EUCAR provided car manufacturers’ views and introduced the Hi-Drive project.
Steve Philips from CEDR brought the perspective of road administrators to the table, starting a very open and honest exchange.
Finally, Lisa Spellman from the VRU Safety Consortium in the USA shared their experience of bringing different stakeholders to one table to identify the right research questions that need to be investigated for the benefit of road users’ safety. She pointed out some topics, such as bicycle lightning, that should be further researched.
The initiative of CONEBI, bringing all different stakeholders together on this important topic, met with enthusiasm from the attendees. It is just the beginning of a bigger dialogue that is needed to ensure that the VRUs are not overlooked when building the mobility system of the future.