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Call: Predictive safety assessment framework and safer urban environment for vulnerable road users

Acronym HE-CL5-D6
Type of Fund Direct Management
Description of programme
"Horizon Europe - Cluster 5 - Destination 6: Safe, Resilient Transport and Smart Mobility services for passengers and goods"

This Destination includes activities addressing safe and smart mobility services for passengers and goods.

Europe needs to manage the transformation of supply-based transport into safe, resilient and sustainable transport and demand-driven, smart mobility services for passengers and goods. Suitable research and innovation will enable significant safety, environmental, economic and social benefits by reducing accidents caused by human error, decreasing traffic congestion, reducing energy consumption and emissions of vehicles, increasing efficiency and productivity of freight transport operations. To succeed in this transformation, Europe’s ageing (and not always sustainable) transport infrastructure needs to be prepared for enabling cleaner and smarter operations.

Europe needs also to maintain a high-level of transport safety for its citizens. Resilience should be built in the transport systems to prevent, mitigate and recover from disruptions. Research and innovation will underpin the three safety pillars: technologies, regulations and human factors.

This Destination contributes to the following Strategic Plan’s Key Strategic Orientations (KSO):

  • C: Making Europe the first digitally enabled circular, climate-neutral and sustainable economy through the transformation of its mobility, energy, construction and production systems;
  • A: Promoting an open strategic autonomy[[‘Open strategic autonomy’ refers to the term ‘strategic autonomy while preserving an open economy’, as reflected in the conclusions of the European Council 1 – 2 October 2020.]] by leading the development of key digital, enabling and emerging technologies, sectors and value chains to accelerate and steer the digital and green transitions through human-centred technologies and innovations.

It covers the following impact areas:

  • Industrial leadership in key and emerging technologies that work for people;
  • Smart and sustainable transport.

The expected impact, in line with the Strategic Plan, is to contribute to “Safe, seamless, smart, inclusive, resilient and sustainable mobility systems for people and goods thanks to user-centric technologies and services including digital technologies and advanced satellite navigation services”, notably through:

  1. Accelerating the implementation of innovative connected, cooperative and automated mobility (CCAM) technologies and systems for passengers and goods (more detailed information below).
  2. Further developing a multimodal transport system through sustainable and smart long-haul and urban freight transport and logistics, upgraded and resilient physical and digital infrastructures for smarter vehicles and operations, for optimised system-wide network efficiency (more detailed information below).
  3. Drastically decreasing the number of transport accidents, incidents and fatalities towards the EU’s long-term goal of moving close to zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2050 even in road transportation (Vision Zero) and increase the resilience of transport systems (more detailed information below).

Connected, Cooperative and Automated Mobility (CCAM)

The aim of relevant topics under this Destination is to accelerate the implementation of innovative connected, cooperative and automated mobility (CCAM) technologies and systems. Actions will help to develop new mobility concepts for passengers and goods – enabled by CCAM - leading to healthier, safer, more accessible, sustainable, cost-effective and demand-responsive transport everywhere. CCAM solutions will shift design and development from a driver-centred to mobility-user oriented approach, providing viable alternatives for private vehicle ownership while increasing inclusiveness of mobility. CCAM must be integrated in the whole transport system to fully exploit the potential benefits of CCAM and minimise potential adverse effects, such as increasingly congested traffic or new risks in mixed traffic environments.

The focus is on road transport, but relevant interfaces with other modes (for instance transfers and integration with public transport or rail freight transport) will be considered.

All technologies, solutions, testing and demonstration activities resulting from these actions should be documented fully and transparently, to ensure replicability, increase adoption, up-scaling, assist future planning decisions and EU and national policy-making and increase citizen buy-in.

Actions are in line with the recommendations of the new European Partnership on CCAM. The Vision of the Partnership is: “European leadership in safe and sustainable road transport through automation”. It aims to harmonise European R&I efforts to accelerate the implementation of innovative CCAM technologies and services. It aims to exploit the full systemic benefits of new mobility solutions enabled by CCAM. The European Partnership on CCAM plans to closely cooperate with other European Partnerships, in particular with “Towards zero emission road transport” (2ZERO), “Driving Urban Transitions” (DUT), “Key digital technologies” (KDT), “Smart networks and services” (SNS) and “AI, data and robotics” (AI). The European Partnership will establish cooperation mechanisms to ensure close interaction when defining R&I actions to maximise synergies and avoid overlaps.

R&I actions taking place at a socio-technical level aiming to better understand the science-society relationship (particularly when social practices, market uptake or ownership are concerned) should favour solutions that are grounded in social innovation in order to achieve its desired outcomes, i.e. by matching innovative ideas with social needs and by forming new collaborations between public and private actors, including civil society and researchers from the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH).

To test CCAM solutions, applicants can seek possibilities of involving the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) in order to valorise the relevant expertise and physical facilities of JRC in demonstrating and testing energy and mobility applications of the JRC Living Lab for Future Urban Ecosystems

The main impacts to be generated by topics targeting connected, cooperative and automated mobility under this Destination are:

  • Validated safety and security, improved robustness and resilience of CCAM technologies and systems.
  • Secure and trustworthy interaction between road users, CCAM and “conventional” vehicles, infrastructure and services to achieve safer and more efficient transport flows (people and goods) and better use of infrastructure capacity.
  • Seamless, affordable and user oriented CCAM based mobility and goods deliveries for all and high public acceptance of these services with clear understanding of its benefits and limits as well as rebound effects; based on the changing mobility needs and desires of a society in transition (digitally and environmentally).
  • Better coordination of R&I and large-scale testing activities in Europe and expanded knowledge base on CCAM solutions.
  • European leadership in the development and deployment of connected and automated mobility and logistics services and systems, ensuring long-term growth and jobs.

Multimodal and sustainable transport systems for passengers and goods

Multimodal and sustainable transport systems are the backbone for efficient mobility of passengers and freight. In particular, the areas of infrastructure, logistics and network/traffic management play a major role in making mobility and transport climate neutral, also through the digitalisation of the sectors. At the same time, being vulnerable to climate change and other disruptions, resilience in these three areas need to be increased. New and advanced infrastructures across all transport modes are required to enable the introduction of new vehicles, operations and mobility services. Furthermore, efficient and smart multimodal logistics are key for seamless and sustainable long-haul, regional and urban freight transport movements. Finally, dynamic multimodal network and traffic management systems are the “glue” of the entire transport network, for optimised door-to-door mobility of both passengers and freight.

To test solutions related to multimodal and sustainable transport systems for passengers and good, applicants may seek possibilities of involving the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) in order to valorise the relevant expertise and physical facilities of JRC in demonstrating and testing energy and mobility applications of the JRC Living Lab for Future Urban Ecosystems[[]].

The main impacts to be generated by topics targeting Multimodal and sustainable transport systems for passengers and goods under this Destination are:

  • Upgraded and resilient physical and digital infrastructure for clean, accessible, affordable, connected and automated multimodal mobility.
  • Sustainable and smart long-haul, regional and urban freight transport and logistics, through increased efficiency, improved interconnectivity and smart enforcement.
  • Reduced external costs (e.g. congestion, traffic jams, emissions, air and noise pollution, road collisions) of urban, peri-urban (regional) and long distance freight transport as well as optimised system-wide network efficiency and resilience.
  • Enhanced local and/or regional capacity for governance and innovation in urban mobility and logistics.

Safety and resilience - per mode and across all transport modes

Safety and resilience are of primary concern for any transport system. The EU set ambitious targets in its 2011 Transport White Paper, the third Mobility Package and, more recently, the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy[[COM(2020) 789 final.]]. COVID-19 has been a stark reminder of the importance of resilience to external disruptions, particularly for transport. Research and innovation will underpin the three pillars affecting safety and resilience: technologies; regulations (alongside acceptable level of risks); and human factors (individual and organisational aspects, including interaction with automation). The approach is risk-based and systemic, including transport means/vehicles, infrastructure, the physical environment (e.g. weather) and the various actors (e.g. manufacturers, regulators, operators, users) as well as all their interfaces, including certification and standardisation bodies.

Synergies should be exploited across research at national, EU and international level together with national authorities, EU agencies and international organisations to improve rulemaking, safety promotion and oversight.

The main impacts to be generated by topics targeting transport safety and resilience under this Destination are:

Safety in Urban Areas/ Road Transport Safety

  • 50% reduction in serious injuries and fatalities in road crashes by 2030.
  • Improved reliability and performance of systems that aim to anticipate and minimize safety risks, avoiding risks and collisions, and reducing the consequences of unavoidable crashes.
  • Drastic reduction of road fatalities and serious crash injuries in low and medium income countries in Africa.
  • Better design principles of future road transport systems enabling also better traffic flow in big cities.

Waterborne Safety and Resilience

  • Ensure healthy passenger shipping by preventing and mitigating the spread of contagious diseases and infections.

Aviation Safety and Resilience

  • Decrease number of accidents and incidents due to organisational/human/automation factors and external hazards in all phases of flight, also beyond CAT category (80% goal in FlightPath2050), while enabling all weather operations.
  • Saving lives following a crash (post-crash survivability).
  • Anticipate emergence of new threats that could generate potential accidents and incidents (short, medium, and long term).
  • Ensure safety through aviation transformation (from green/digital technologies uptake up to independent certification).
  • Maintain safety and resilience despite the scale, pace and diversity of new entrants.
Link Link to Programme
Predictive safety assessment framework and safer urban environment for vulnerable road users
Description of call
"Predictive safety assessment framework and safer urban environment for vulnerable road users"

Expected Outcome

Area A:

  • Harmonised, prospective assessment framework for road safety, both active and passive, solutions (for policy, regulatory and consumer assessment).
  • Comprehensive virtual representation of challenging scenarios in future road traffic.
  • Well-founded prognoses on the effects of new solutions on road safety and protection of vulnerable road users and vehicle occupants.

Area B:

  • 50% reduction in serious injuries and fatalities in road crashes by 2030, with a focus on measures addressing unprotected vulnerable road users
  • Better prediction of all road users behaviour and the use of new transport modes
  • Concepts and guidelines for safe inclusion of new types of vulnerable road users, e.g. those using new means of transport into the traffic system
  • Development of solutions that facilitate inclusion of all vulnerable users in the transport system, including people with disabilities, the elderly, and children by providing a safe environment for walking and cycling.
  • Facilitation of modal shift to active and clean modes of transport, improving the health of road users and the quality of urban environments.


A Safe System approach recognises that since accidents will continue to occur despite preventive efforts, it is a shared responsibility between stakeholders (road users, road managers, vehicle manufacturers, etc.) to take appropriate actions to ensure that road collisions do not lead to serious or fatal injuries. The safe system approach requires a systematic, multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral, and multi-stakeholder approach which addresses the safety needs of all users; fatal and serious injury prevention, collision prevention and mitigation and post-collision care and aligns with other policies for co-benefits such as health, occupational health and safety, sustainable development and poverty reduction. In a Safe System approach, mobility is a function of safety rather than vice versa. It involves the implementation of system-wide measures that ensure, in the event of a collision, that the impact forces remain below the thresholds likely to produce either death or serious injury.

Area A – Predictive safety assessment framework

The road traffic system is changing with new technology, new means of transport as well as with regulatory and behavioural changes, and so will scenarios which are relevant for safety. Such future scenarios are not yet captured in accident databases. Traditional analysis methods and road studies can no longer predict the impact of new developments and new measures on road safety with an increased speed of technological development, but relatively slow penetration rates in the road traffic system. Also for already developed safety measures, scenarios need to be provided which cover more complex transport system levels where safety can be described in terms of risk and probability due to interplay between societal and technological driving forces as well as different stakeholder and user needs. A predictive safety assessment framework on higher system levels will support considerably the proactive management of road safety as an important principle of the safe system approach.

Virtual simulation allows for fast and extensive evaluation of safety measures even in scenarios which do not exist in real traffic yet. With growing computer power, safety assessment methods should therefore be extended to potential future scenarios and to the transport system level also allowing for the evaluation of socio-economic benefits. Such predictive assessment requires appropriate simulation environments and realistic models of all elements of the transport system (incl. human behaviour and traffic flow), which need to be harmonised to make them available for policy, regulatory and consumer assessment.

Within this context, actions should address the following aspects:

  • Develop new methods to efficiently predict the effects of the implementation of a new technology, new means of transport and regulatory or behavioural changes on road safety up to the level of socio-economic benefits.
  • Further develop virtual models of the relevant elements of the transport system for which such further development is most urgently needed, and validate them through testing activities and corresponding correlation.
  • Analyse, based on selected examples, how the application of new technology and/or the introduction of new regulation will affect the remaining road safety burden, and how traffic and crash scenarios will change with their market penetration and/or enforcement respectively.

Area B – Safer urban environment for vulnerable road users

A safe system strategy and targets to reduce accidents in urban areas inevitably should have at its core the safety of vulnerable road users. Vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists and powered two wheelers) constitute almost 70% of the fatalities from road crashes in urban areas. Our society is characterized by an ageing generation, which is still mobile and more active in road traffic than in the decades before, therefore it is of high importance to improve safety in road traffic for elderly people by seeking solutions that would concomitantly address infrastructure and road user behaviour. A safe system strategy needs also to take into account the interactions between different modes of transport, especially the road intersection with trams, light-rail, commuter rail, including infrastructure and human factors of vulnerable users in relation to level-crossings and trespassing.

In this context, building on best practices (technological, non-technological and social), as well as ongoing projects and planned initiatives in the area of safe urban environment for vulnerable road users, actions should address the following aspects:

  • Protection principles and solutions to provide a safe environment for vulnerable road users through infrastructure measures and lifelong learning initiatives for vulnerable road users as well as for vehicle occupants (behavioural change, training courses, road safety education from an early age)
  • Identify specific mobility needs and public space design needs to promote a safe journey for the vulnerable road users, and enhance their perception of safety (considering among others women’s perception of safety and people with disabilities, like blind people in shared spaces).
  • Safe inclusion of new means of transport into the traffic system (including personal light electric vehicles, PLEVs, such as electric scooters and self-balancing vehicles and the safe transition to higher levels of automation e.g. automated public transport vehicles ). Safety measures on the vulnerable road users’ vehicles, improving stability, robustness and helping to prevent crashes overall.
  • Protective equipment (helmets, clothes, reflectors) that is innovative, effective, user friendly and likely to lead to higher usage rates. Possibilities of active equipment able to detect oncoming collisions and warn the VRU in order to prevent crashes should be explored and demonstrated
  • Improved detection mechanisms of vulnerable road users by other users and accurate prediction of their behaviour including at road intersections.
  • Analysis of the most common causes of accidents concerning vulnerable road users and demonstration of applied solutions.
  • Provide clear guidance to cities and Member States/Associated Countries on how to incorporate the vulnerable road users dimension into infrastructure planning and sustainable urban mobility plans especially for the aspects of safety, security and accessibility.

Actions should address the activities EITHER under area A) Predictive safety assessment framework OR under area B) Safer urban environment for vulnerable road users. Proposals should clearly indicate which area they are covering. At the same time, links will ideally be established between projects under both areas, so that solutions, concepts and measures developed under Area B) could be assessed using the framework from Area A).

Typically, projects should have a duration of 36 to 48 months. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other durations.

Social innovation is recommended when the solution is at the socio-technical interface and requires social change, new social practices, social ownership or market uptake.

Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Research & Innovation, Technology Transfer & Exchange, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Climate, Climate Change, Environment & Biodiversity, Clustering, Development Cooperation, Economic Cooperation, Green Technologies & Green Deal, Administration & Governance, Digitisation, ICT, Telecommunication, Competitiveness, SME, Mobility & Transport/Traffic , Urban development, Regional Development & Regional Planning, Consumer Protection, Health, Social Affairs, Sports
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Eligible applicants Education and Training Centres, Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, Research Institution, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, International Organization, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), NGO / NPO, Public Services, National Government, Other, Start Up Company, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Association
Applicant details

eligible non-EU countries:

  • countries associated to Horizon Europe
At the date of the publication of the work programme, there are no countries associated to Horizon Europe. Considering the Union’s interest to retain, in principle, relations with the countries associated to Horizon 2020, most third countries associated to Horizon 2020 are expected to be associated to Horizon Europe with an intention to secure uninterrupted continuity between Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe. In addition, other third countries can also become associated to Horizon Europe during the programme. For the purposes of the eligibility conditions, applicants established in Horizon 2020 Associated Countries or in other third countries negotiating association to Horizon Europe will be treated as entities established in an Associated Country, if the Horizon Europe association agreement with the third country concerned applies at the time of signature of the grant agreement.

  • low-and middle-income countries

Legal entities which are established in countries not listed above will be eligible for funding if provided for in the specific call conditions, or if their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority.

Specific cases:

  • Affiliated entities - Affiliated entities are eligible for funding if they are established in one of the countries listed above.
  • EU bodies - Legal entities created under EU law may also be eligible to receive funding, unless their basic act states otherwise.
  • International organisations - International European research organisations are eligible to receive funding. Unless their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority, other international organisations are not eligible to receive funding. International organisations with headquarters in a Member State or Associated Country are eligible to receive funding for ‘Training and mobility’actions and when provided for in the specific call conditions.
Project Partner Yes
Project Partner Details

Unless otherwise provided for in the specific call conditions , legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes:

  • at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State;and
  • at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Further info

Proposal page limits and layout:

The application form will have two parts:

  • Part A to be filled in directly online  (administrative information, summarised budget, call-specific questions, etc.)
  • Part B to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system

Page limit - Part B: 45 pages

Type of Funding Grants
Financial details
Expected EU contribution per projectThe Commission estimates that an EU contribution of between EUR 4.00 and 4.33 million would allow these outcomes to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of a proposal requesting different amounts.
Indicative budgetThe total indicative budget for the topic is EUR 13.00 million.
Typ of ActionResearch and Innovation Actions (RIA)
Funding rate100%

Activities are expected to achieve TRL 5-6 by the end of the project.

To ensure a balanced portfolio, grants will be awarded to applications not only in order of ranking but at least also to the highest-ranked proposal in each area, i.e. one proposal for area A) Predictive safety assessment framework and another one for area B) Safer urban environment for vulnerable road users, provided that the applications attain all thresholds.

Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System. Paper submissions are NOTpossible.

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