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FHWA > Programs > Office of Policy > Office of International Programs  > Roadway Human Factors and Behavioral Safety in Europe > Appendix A Scan Study Site Information

Appendix A Scan Study Site Information

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland - VTT Building and Transport

Lämpömiehenkuja 2, Espoo
PO Box 1800
FIN–02044 VTT, Finland
Telephone: + 358 9 4561
Fax: + 358 9 456 7031
Web: http://www.vtt.fi/rte/
Contact: Dr. Juha Luoma
Chief Research Scientist
Telephone: +358 9 456 4533
Fax: +358 9 456 850
E-mail: Juha.luoma@vtt.fi

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is a private contract research organization that has been around for more than 60 years. With its 3,000 employees, VTT provides a wide range of technology and applied research services for its clients, private companies, institutions, and the public sector. Economic turnover in 2003 was EUR213 million (US$256.7 million), 70 percent of which was external income and 30 percent basic governmental financing.

VTT carries out three types of activities: commercial activities, joint projects, and self-financed projects. Commercial activities are performed according to direct demand from customers. Joint projects are initiated on the basis of need and typically are funded jointly by VTT, companies, research financers, and other research parties. Self-financed research consists of technology-based strategic research projects aimed at developing competitiveness, and acquiring knowledge and expertise to meet the future needs of customers.

The organization's wide expertise in behavioral studies allows it to study interactions of the driver/operator, vehicle, and environment. It typically analyzes human machine interfaces that must be designed so users can operate the system easily and without increased risk to traffic safety. Studies involve evaluations of driver behavior, development of advanced driver assistance systems, and investigation of road and railway crashes, to name a few.

Projects underway include the following:

  • A review of the speed-crash relationship for European roads
  • Efficient improvement of road safety
  • Developing transport policy assessment methods
  • Performance of composition technology in road or other traffic area structures
  • Human-centered design for information society technologies (HUMANIST)
  • Development of transport system impact assessment methods
  • Development of road marking and road user behavior research methods

University of Helsinki -Traffic Research Unit

Siltavuorenpenger 20 D
FI-00014 University of Helsinki
Helsinki, Finland
Web: http://www.helsinki.fi
Contact: Professor Heikki Summala
Telephone: 011+358 9 19 12 94 20
Fax: 011+358 9 19 12 94 22
E-mail: heikki.summala@helsinki.fi

Academic research and higher learning that rests on it are the two basic functions of the University of Helsinki. Research conducted in facilities and separate institutions covers all fields represented at the university.

About 50 percent of the research is financed by the university's operating expenditure, and the rest is financed by external funds. Most external funds still come from public sources, such as the Academy of Finland, National Technology Agency of Finland, Ministries, and European Union (EU). In the past few years, the commercialization of research results has reached an important position, and new forms of cooperation with business and industry have been developed.

The activities and interests of the Traffic Research Unit cover practically all areas of traffic psychology and road safety, although since the early 1970s it has specialized in driver behavior theory, drivers' task analysis, and experimental real-life, on-road research.

Projects underway include the following:

  • Driver behavior on major two-lane roads of different design, with specific emphasis on causes of head-on crashes.
  • Effects of the use of a hand-held versus hands-free mobile phone on safety and understandability of the message while driving in the city.
  • The role of exposure and visibility in deer-vehicle crashes.
  • Driving behavior in two countries that largely differ in traffic and safety culture (Finland and Russia), looking at drivers who cross the border.
  • Driving ability of different patient groups, as well as theoretical analysis of driver behavior.

The Traffic Research Unit also contributed to the Finnish governmental traffic safety plan for 2001-2005.

SINTEF-Roads and Transport

Klæbuveien 153
Trondheim, Norway
Web: http://www.sintef.no/
Contact: Dr. Tore Knudsen
Telephone: 47 73 59 46 60
Mobile Phone: 47 92 61 94 13
Fax: 47 73 59 46 56
E-mail: tore.knudsen@sintef.no

The acronym SINTEF stands for the Foundation for Scientific and Industrial Research at the Norwegian Institute of Technology (now the Norwegian University of Science and Technology).

SINTEF is the largest independent private research organization in Scandinavia. Fields of research are technology, natural science, medicine, and social science. The organization's turnover in 2003 was NOK 1.7 billion (US$261 million). Contracts for industry and the public sector generated more than 90 percent of income, while almost 8 percent came as basic grants from the Research Council of Norway.

SINTEF works with all modes of transport, and research deals with the local, national, and international levels. Examples of research areas are development and design of infrastructure for all transport modes, maintenance of such infrastructure, transport planning, traffic management, safety, logistics, and ITS systems of the future.

Projects underway include the following:

  • Transport planning-Activities include data collection, development of models, and analysis of demand for person and freight transport on national, regional, and local levels, as well as cost/benefit analysis and estimation of effects of changes in transport infrastructure. SINTEF also develops tools for route planning and fleet management for business customers.
  • Traffic management-Traffic management is both general and detailed regulation of the transport infrastructure to create an efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly traffic flow.
  • Road planning-Road planning includes the spectrum from analysis and evaluation to find the right alternatives on a preliminary stage to detailed plans and solutions, including specification and design of road elements and the landscape. The goal for road planning is to improve transportation effectiveness, safety, and environmental conditions by generating solutions giving positive total results for the community.
  • Traffic safety-Safety in the transport field includes road, railway, ship, and air transport. The national transport plan has a goal of reducing the number of people killed in traffic to 200 per year, compared to the present level of about 300 people.

Danish Transport Research Institute-(Danmarks TransportForskning)

Knuth-Winterfeldts Allé
Building 116
DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby
Telephone: +45 4525 6500
Fax: +45 4593 6533
Web:  http://www.dtf.dk
Contact: Kurt Petersen
Research Director
Telephone: 011+45 45 25 65 22
Fax: 011+45 33 38 14 41
E-mail: kp@dtf.dk

The Danish Transport Research Institute (DTF) is a research institute under the Danish Ministry of Transport. The purpose of the institute, established in August 2000, is to strengthen transport research with special focus on such fields as transport safety and risk, as well as transport economics and modeling.

The institute has a broad research basis, and activities are planned with special focus on the interdisciplinary aspects of transport problems. In these research fields, DTF carries out academic research, applied research besides working with innovation, consultancy services, and communication of know-how with a view to making the results of research and development available for practical exploitation.

Projects underway include the following:

  • Distractions in the traffic environment-Study of whether distractions along roads and inside cars may have an influence on traffic safety, with special focus on advertising signs.
  • Arterial Streets Towards Sustainability (ARTISTS) project-Holistic analysis of problems and methods for improving traffic safety, environment, mobility, etc., on major arterial streets in European towns.
  • Accident Investigation Board (HVU)-Participation in the National Accident Investigation Board.
  • Social characteristics of road users involved in crashes-Study based on combining information from some crash databases and databases on income, education, and other relevant social parameters.
  • Use of IT systems-Study on the use of IT systems, especially mobile phones, in heavy vehicles and the effect on traffic safety.
  • Intelligent speed adjustment as a traffic safety technology-Ph.D. project on the effect on traffic safety of various crash prevention technologies in cars.
  • Road users in urban areas-Ph.D. project on traffic in cities of the future, particularly elderly drivers.
  • Transport system of the future-Study of road users' need and requirement for traffic safety, mobility, and accessibility in future traffic, with special focus on elderly road users and survey of ongoing developments.
  • Methods for influencing car drivers' choice of speed-Test of variable signposting and interviews with car drivers on the investigation and speeding in general.

Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI)

SE-581 95
Linköping, Sweden
Web: http://www.vti.se
Contact: Dr. Urban Karlström
Director General
Telephone: +46 13 20 42 10
Fax: +46 13 20 40 82
E-mail: urban.karlstrom@vti.se

VTI, the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, is a public national research institute organized under the Ministry of Industry, Employment, and Communications. Since 1975, VTI has been located on the university campus in Linköping, some 200 km south of Stockholm. In 1998, VTI opened a branch office in Borlänge, where the headquarters for the Swedish National Road Administration and Banverket (the National Rail Administration) are located. This establishment demonstrates the institute's desire to deepen contacts with its largest clients.

VTI performs advanced applied research and development aimed at contributing to the national transport policy objective for sustainable development. The Swedish National Road Administration is the principal client. Extensive research and development are also conducted for the Swedish Agency for Innovation Systems (Vinnova), and to an increasing extent for the EU. Other clients include the National Institute for Communications Analysis (SIKA), Banverket, Civil Aviation Administration, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, road contractors, and the automotive industry.

Projects underway include the following:

  • TREE-An EC project with the aim to stimulate cooperation and more efficient use of laboratory resources for road and transport research in Europe.
  • HARMONOISE-An EC project to develop methods to predict community noise levels from road and railway traffic. VTI takes part in the project.
  • AGILE-An EC project with two general aims: to help the elderly to continue to drive safely for as long as possible, and to develop knowledge to establish rational EU policies for delivering certification of fitness to drive.
  • Driver licensing in Ghana-Development of a national program for driver examination and licensing in Ghana.
  • TRAINER-An EC project aimed at improving young drivers' skills and training.
  • ADVISORS-An EC project on advanced driver assistance and vehicle control systems.
  • REFLEX-An EC project to develop a new methodology of road construction and rehabilitation using steel reinforcement fabrics, with a goal of making road structures more cost effective by extending their lifetimes.

TNO Human Factors

Kampweg 5
3769 DE Soesterberg
The Netherlands
Telephone: +31 346 356 211
Fax: +31 346 353 977
Web: http://www.tm.tno.nl/
Contact: Dr. Ir. A. Richard A. van der Horst
Telephone: +31 346 356 451
E-mail: skilled.behavior@tm.tno.nl

TNO is the abbreviation for the Dutch Nederlandse Organisatie voor toegepast-natuurwetenschappelijk onderzoek. The English name is the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research. In 1930, the Dutch Parliament passed the TNO Act, which regulates applied scientific research in the Netherlands. TNO was established by law in 1932. A revised and updated TNO Act became operative in May 1986.

TNO Human Factors develops knowledge focused on human behavior and performance in demanding environments. The organization applies this knowledge to the innovation of processes, products, and services for the Netherlands' armed forces, private enterprise, and government. In 2004, TNO Human Factors had a turnover of EUR16.5 million (US$20.8 million). Fifty percent of this turnover related to projects for the Netherlands Ministry of Defense, including explorative research and concrete projects.

A primary focus area is that the safety and efficiency of today's road traffic is highly dependent on human behavior. Traffic fatalities and road congestion make it clear that the present system does not function optimally. It is possible to influence driver behavior by structural changes in traffic control strategies, road design, and vehicle characteristics. Knowledge of driver perception of road environments can be applied to radically change roadway categories and improve safety. Human reaction and adaptation to modern road traffic control systems is quantified by experimentation in instrumented cars and driving simulators. Specifications for intelligent driver support systems such as navigation and collision avoidance systems are developed on the basis of knowledge about traffic participants' reactions to these systems.

Projects underway include the following:

  • Visual perception and road design-Basic perceptual processes in road traffic, legibility and comprehensibility of roadside information, relation between design characteristics and road user behavior, and principles of self-explaining road design.
  • Traffic control systems-User requirements for dynamic traffic information and control systems, and modeling of behavioral and safety effects of these systems.
  • Driver support systems-Cognitive ergonomics of in-vehicle supports, assessment of visual and mental load, modeling expected behavioral and safety consequences of supports, and normalization and standardization of supports.
  • Driver skills-Interaction between individual characteristics and the design of roads, traffic information and control systems, support systems, and the effects of stressors and other impeding factors on driver performance and safety.

SWOV-Institute for Road Safety Research

P.O. Box 1090
2260 BB Leidschendam
Duindoorn 32
The Netherlands
Telephone: +31 - 70 - 3173 333
Web: http://www.swov.nl
Contact: Fred Wegman
Telephone: +31 70 3173 332
E-mail: Fred.Wegman@SWOV.nl

SWOV is an independent scientific institute with an objective to contribute to road safety by means of scientific research and dissemination of the results.

Anticipatory research has always played an important role in analyzing basic road safety problems and arriving at possible solutions. This research also contributes to improving road safety. During the next few years, SWOV will carry out anticipatory research on the following 10 subjects:

  • Road safety explorer
  • Infrastructure and road crashes
  • Analysis of the relationship among speed, speed variation, and crashes
  • Measures for speed management
  • Choice of route in a road network
  • Recognizable layout and predictable behavior
  • Novice drivers and driver training
  • Effects of education and information campaigns
  • Optimal investments
  • Use of information in decisionmaking on road safety

Projects underway include the following:

  • EU SafetyNet project- The project aims to collect data on crashes and casualties in all 25 EU member states. The data will be made available through the Internet, allowing comparison on an international level.
  • SUNflower continuation- The goal of the original study was to discover what had made the road safety policies of three countries (Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands) so successful. The method and results of the first study will be used to analyze the road safety problems in a number of other countries. The goal is to determine the most effective measures. Meanwhile, the continuation study has started under the name of SUNflower+6. In addition to the original three SUNflower countries, six more countries will take part in this study: Catalonia (Spain), Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Portugal, and Slovenia.

INRETS (Institut National De Recherche Sur Les Transports Et Leur Securite)


2 av Général Malleret-joinville
Telephone: +33 (0)1 47 40 70 00
Fax: +33 (0)1 45 47 56 06
Web : http://www.inrets.fr
Contact: Stéphane Espié
Telephone: +33 (0)1 47 40 70 23
E-mail: espie@inrets.fr


25, Avenue François Mitterrand
Telephone: +33 4 72 14 23 00
Fax: +33 4 72 37 68 37
Contact: Jean-Pierre Medevielle
Telephone: +33 4 72 14 25 85
Claire Plantié Niclause
Telephone: +3 4 72 14 23 70
E-mail: Claire.niclause@inrets.fr

The French National Institute for Transport and Safety Research was created by interministerial decree on September 18, 1985. INRETS is a state-financed scientific and technological body under the dual administrative supervision of the Ministry of Research and the Ministry of Transport. The institute's activities involve such diverse fields as economics, sociology, psychology, physiology, ergonomics, biomechanics, acoustics, mechanics, mathematics, computer science, and electronics.

Projects underway include the following:

  • Road safety-crash analysis, prevention, road users' protection, and rescue
    • Analysis of the road system and its components (man, vehicle, infrastructure)
    • Factors and consequences of road crashes
    • Biomechanics and road user protection
    • Road safety policies, education, regulation, incentive strategies, and penalties
  • Driving aids-information, assistance, and automation
    • Intelligent systems, driving aids, and automated highways
    • Modeling and simulation for driving case studies
    • Urban and interurban guided transport systems
    • A technological approach to safety, security, and quality
    • Telecommunications and the new information technologies in transport
  • Transport networks and services
    • Modeling and traffic management in transport networks
    • Intermodality and multimodality in passenger transport
    • Freight intermodality
    • Socioeconomic analysis and assessment of infrastructures and networks
    • Transport professionals
    • Sustainability and environment
  • Transport and the environment
    • Sustainable mobility in large conurbations
    • Electric and hybrid vehicles and power components
    • The dynamics of guided systems and their maintenance
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