Strasbourg round-up: PR01 - Training needs on new technologies for fleet managers and drivers

Coming under "Topic: 3. Transport networks evolution", Session PR01 on "Training needs on new technologies for fleet managers and drivers" focused on identifying the needs and requirements for developing better training tools and methods for fleet managers and drivers unfamiliar with ITS.

The session was organised and moderated by CAPITAL project consortium member Monica Giannini (IRU) who began by identifying which ITS technologies are currently available and the methods at their disposal to take advantage of these services. For example, Ms Giannini explained how IRU, as a provider of ITS services for end-users (truck, bus and taxi drivers), has identified new systems, such as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), to develop a training programme for on road safety, in cooperation with Volvo. Ms Giannini also presented the CAPITAL project, it's goal and objectives to the ITS expert audience.

The first speaker, Evangelos Mitsakis (CERTH-HIT), highlighted that the current gaps and barriers found in ITS deployment are related to education. He stressed the difficulty many fleet managers and drivers encounter of following and taking full advantage of all ITS developments and trends and regretted the fact that industry and academic staff are not at the same level. Therefore, a pooling of technical and scientific skills is needed in order to create a collaborative capacity building programme for practitioners in the public and private sector, which is precisely what the CAPITAL project aims to do.

Mr Mitsakis also presented the C-MobILE project which aims to not only bring about large scale deployment of ITS services, but to define a C-ITS framework for proposing robust deployment enabling solutions, to create a strategic research agenda: key research and innovation areas to promote and demonstrate the added value. Most importantly of all, he stressed the training aspect of the project which targets professional drivers and public authorities.

The second speaker, Oihana Otaegui (Vicom), explained the importance of developing new ITS technologies from the driver's perspective. Thanks to the new ADAS system it is now possible to monitor the state of drivers helping them to make decisions in complicated situations. This is achieved by using cameras which map physical signals and measure some physiological parameters (for example, fatigue status measured through head pose or blinking detection, determining the distraction level). Once the system is personalised, Vicom is able to create personalised trainings for each driver. These parameters can then be sent to a cloud server from which Vicom can analyse how drivers react individually to the ADAS system.

Lastly, Roxana Ilie (UNTRR) suggested that ITS could also be used to develop tools for supporting road hauliers as they are the primary users of ITS services and technologies (digital/smart tachographs, OBUs for various electronic tool systems, GPSs, driving assistance functions, etc.). Training programmes (such as tachograph and road safety and speed management, eco-driving and eco-effect training programmes) would contribute to road safety and eco-driving and could also improve companies’ competitiveness through fleet management systems, remote digital operations and the monitoring of drivers’ behaviour. UNTRR also proposes European qualifications be developed and implemented for professional drivers, which could bring added value beyond the legal requirements (for example, eco-driving and how to operate technologies on-board the truck).