Autonomous vehicles safety


HAVs can introduce additional safety risks that will result in new safety-critical situations that must be addressed. Some of these additional safety risks are, among others: component failures, increased risk-taking, unconventional seating position and occupant postures, increased vehicle travel, interaction with VRUs and also mixed traffic (HAVs interacting with Human Driven Vehicles – HDVs).

The obstacles for HAVs introduction in the market mainly come from safety and human factors concerns. Hence, the expected new safety-critical situations must be addressed, especially those involving human road users (HRUs). To overcome these obstacles, AWARE2ALL will work in different complementary fields:

Future scenarios (incl. occupant positions and activities)Integral safety (connected active and passive safety systems)iHMI & OMSPerception & eHMI


In order to ensure user acceptance of the project developments, social sciences and humanities (SSH) disciplines (cultural and psychological aspects) will be integrated at all the stages of the project. Considering that HAVs will provide independent mobility for people who, for any reason, cannot or should not drive, AWARE2ALL will put special focus on underrepresented populations female, elderly, sensorial or physical disabilities, cultural minorities, low digital abilities – to ensure that results provide safety to any (type of) occupant and HRU.


The main objective of AWARE2ALL is to address the new safety challenges posed by the introduction of HAVs in mixed road traffic, through the development of inclusive and innovative safety (passive and active) and HMI (internal and external) systems that will consider the variety of population and will objectively demonstrate relevant improvements in mixed traffic safety. In order to achieve this, the following technical objectives are defined:
relevant uses cases

Relevant Use Cases to demonstrate and validate the project achievements

Definition and prioritisation of relevant Use Cases to demonstrate and validate the project achievements, ensuring that most relevant safety critical situations related to future mixed traffic (external conditions) and occupant positions (internal conditions) are considered.
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objective 1
virtual prototype

Develop one virtual prototype of passive safety

Develop one virtual prototype of passive safety (D1), based on a restraint system that extends the occupant protection range by addressing the variety of possible occupant postures and orientations. This prototype will take a large diversity of occupants into account, also considering additional information about body motion due to vehicle dynamics from pre-crash systems.
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objective 2
safety system car

Develop two active safety physical prototypes

Develop two active safety physical prototypes (D2, D3) to ensure that the vehicle is able to anticipate hazardous situations and act proactively. D2 will address Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and evasive manoeuvring for situations in which a driver is not available (e.g. shuttles). D3 will address transition of control strategies (handover/handback) for situations in which a driver is available (e.g. shared vehicle).
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objective 3
hybrid prototype

Development of a hybrid (virtual and physical) prototype

Development of a hybrid (virtual and physical) prototype (D3) of iHMI that will adapt, dynamically, the required bi-directional interaction with the driver/occupants, to either maintain certain situation awareness, or to nudge the occupants to the optimal state according to the evolving environment by proposing a new cognitive empathic augmented HMI. Methods, tools and mechanisms will be defined to determine the discrepancies between the measured or observed occupant states with respect to the determined optimal occupant state(s).
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objective 4
Intelligent system

The system detects that the occupant(s) are not able to take over control

Current ODD definitions are only linked to the design parameters of sensors and functions and do not consider occupant state. AWARE2ALL propose the extension of the ODD definition by including occupant/driver state definition, e.g., even when a HAV is functioning well, if the system detects that the occupant(s) are not able to take over control when needed, it might decide to issue warnings or change vehicle behaviour (reduce speed, not perform any lane changes, ...).
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objective 5
eHMI physical prototype

Develop an eHMI physical prototype (D4) for effective communication and interaction with HRU

The system will include 2 modules: a perception system (to detect the type of user and the situation through image processing) and a communication system (additional components integrated with technologies using light and sounds to adapt the message to the receiver and the situation). Focus will be the diversity of population (gender, age, digital ability, culture) and a framework for communication strategies will be developed.
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objective 6
Testing methods

Testing methods and tools for performance

Develop innovative testing methods and tools for performance assessment of AWARE2ALL safety and HMI solutions by using virtual and physical tools to validate the four demonstrators and showcase their impact in HAV safety for occupants and HRUs.
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objective 7

Methodology & Workplan

The AWARE2ALL concept is supported by three main pillars:

Integral safety

Develops an integral safety concept that automatically takes decisions according to the occupants’ state, overall situation (interior layout, exterior scene, etc.) to guarantee always that even if a crash is unavoidable, the severity is minimised.

Driving situation

Informs the occupants adequately about the autonomy and decision state of the system as well as about the driving situation, to ensure that occupant alertness is adequate for the current driving mode. This information is adapted to the occupants’ types and roles, enabling them to respond timely to any required actions.

Promoting safe interaction

Informs road users adequately about the systems’ state and intentions and adapts to the user type, thus promoting safe interaction.

Solutions for safety and security concerns in autonomous vehicles


Demo 1

Passive Safety virtual prototype

This demo will include the 3D simula-
tion model of the new vehicle interior configuration with seats, belt systems and airbag systems for crash simulation in LSDyna or PAMcrash (THI, ESI).