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MeBeSafe gathered in sunny Sorrento

MeBeSafe members came from all over Europe to the 3d General Assembly meeting in Italy. Spring dawned upon the researchers as they presented fresh results and exchanged ideas.

Mount Vesuvius loomed distantly over the small hillside hotel, while faint scents from the many lemon groves crept into the meeting room. This was the place for the third General Assembly meeting in MeBeSafe. 

In many ways, it was an ideal place to gather. Not because of the approaching spring or the stunning views of course, but because of what it represents for the project.

“Getting from Naples Airport to Sorrento was the ultimate justification for MeBeSafe”, coordinator Stefan Ladwig wittily introduced the event. “We had two incidents and one harsh braking scenario. The car in front of us braked very harshly and the safety margins were rapidly decreasing. We could seriously have used some nudging there!”

Half of the time has now passed for the MeBeSafe project, and results are beginning to pop in as the researchers prepare for the ultimate test in the Field Trial later this year. This will serve as a final assessment on whether the nudges and coaching measures actually worked as intended. But before that, there is still a lot of work to be done.

The various Work Package leaders all stood up and explained what they have done so far, and what they are up to into the future, accompanied by many a researcher delving deeper into specific topics. One major thing undeniably struck the listeners, and it was not a mild Mediterranean wind. No, it was how well the MeBeSafe projects actually seem to fly. 

Most projects have already progressed remarkably far, and only some are still facing a few obstacles that could block the way towards their full potential. For the Driver Coaching, all will be totally well as long as a second version of the coaching app is enabled in time. Plans and ideas for improvement are nevertheless ever so abundant, and the discussion on how to actually perform the Field Trial highly vivid.

There are already solid plans for how to transfer the measures into the verdict of the Field Trial, with mere details left up for decisions. But everything has to be perfectly clear for the results to make sense, and this is assessed with greatest care all across Europe.

Two impressive days of presentations and discussions came to an end with a Dissemination Event, where the general public was invited to get a glimpse of what MeBeSafe is doing. Around 50 local citizens interested in road safety sat attentively and embraced the latest results on nudging and coaching, as well as exciting findings from the local traffic expertise.

With the fresh Sorrento Spring in their mind and new thoughts on how to proceed, the MeBeSafe consortium left, and once again scattered across Europe. Now six months of intense work to validate all findings will commence, before the team once again will meet eye-to-eye in Graz. And hopefully, everything will have gone just as well as it had this time.