VRUITS (Improving the Safety and Mobility of Vulnerable Road Users through ITS Applications) is a research project co-funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Program. The Project VRUITS investigates how safety, mobility and comfort of vulnerable road uses can be improved with intelligent transport systems. 12 partners from 8 different countries take part in this research project.
On September 23rd, CIDAUT Foundation, as VRUITS project partner, organized a session for dissemination of the results obtained from pedestrian demonstrators developed in Spain within the project. In the session also participated SICE and POLIS, as project partners, and Valladolid City Council, as project Associated Member.
The session intended to be a country-based dissemination event as a way to promote demonstration activities as well as the project as a whole on the local and national level to authorities and ITS industry. The aim was to the establish the session as a disseminator towards other cities in the country and also served as a way to get the necessary local, regional and national stakeholders on board for the implementation of VRUITS concepts. The event counted on the participation of more than 30 attendees belonging to authorities, ITS industry and research-oriented organizations, among them, the Major of Valladolid. Moreover, local and regional media mentioned the session, including press news, radio interviews and a short filmation included in local TV within daily news.
At the start of the session, POLIS presented Key mobility trends in Europe, focussed on cyclist and pedestrians. Afterwards, Valladolid City Council showed actions focussed on mobility in Valladolid within the last years. Then, CIDAUT Foundation presented an overview of VRUITS project to the attendees. Finally, systems oriented to pedestrians located in Valladolid and Alcalá de Henares were explained by CIDAUT Foundation and SICE, and results of the trials as well as conclusions drawn from the statistical analysis of the data collected during pilot tests performed within VRUITS project were shown by CIDAUT Foundation.
Main conclusions reported during the season were:
- Implemented systems allow for collecting accurate data on pedestrian flows and tendencies, thus enabling a better traffic management in the surroundings of the installation.
- It has been demonstrated that pedestrian mobility was improved. In Valladolid test site, waiting time of the pedestrians at the crossing dropped 20% after system implementation and, accordingly, pedestrian congestions were also reduced.
- Most users do not consciously perceive the implementation of the systems, neither the mobility improvement that has been reached due to said implementation. Nevertheless, it has been established that the users unconsciously perceived aforesaid mobility improvement through a comparative analysis of the questionnaires filled prior and after the implementation of the system.
- Once the objectives and benefits of the systems are explained to the users, they value them quite positively, although mistrust has been occasionally detected as some users are afraid of the potential use of the systems as penalising devices.
- Some specific vulnerable user groups value particularly well the systems, as occurred with disable people that gave their opinion about the system implemented in Alcala de Henares.