For the majority of people navigating traffic is a very common activity and habitual, almost automatic. However, most current measures intended to get traffic users to behave safer appeal to our deliberate self (awareness campaigns, speed signs), act autonomously on our behalf (autonomous braking), or seek to “assist” us by presenting feedback/information (forward collision warning, roadside speed displays). All these measures have a high potential but they are often ineffective since users disregard messages or turn off assitance systems.
MeBeSafe aims to develop and validate behavioural nudging and coaching measures with the objective of steering drivers and cyclists to better preserve safety margins in common traffic situations which carry an elevated risk. The nudging concept, from behavioural economics, relates to subconsciously encouraging us to make a desired choice, without banning other options. By giving us choices, nudging measures are less intrusive and can be provided even before a certain traffic situation gets critical. This is in contrast to “forcing” measures (that take choice away or make the “wrong” choice very hard), and in contrast with “informative” feedback which presents factual information without seeking to guide the user’s choice.
The MeBeSafe project will be developing, implementing and validating nudging and coaching measures in order to:
• Achieve a long-term behavioural change through an online driver coaching scheme (self-coaching).
• Combat a driver’s lack of alertness and acute driving ability.
• Motivate a driver to increase the use of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).
• Direct and heighten a driver’s attention towards potential hazards.
• Get drivers to adopt a safe speed and keep a risk-minimising trajectory on inter-urban roads.
• Motivate cyclists to reduce their speed when approaching risky urban intersections.
• Decrease the frequency of unplanned sudden braking among Heavy Goods Vehicle drivers.