PANACEA: the first six months…

In May this year, we kicked-off the PANACEA journey with our first virtual project meeting, accompanied by our 16 partners. We shared our visions of the work to be taken up by highlighting the interrelations between the different parts of the project and identifying any early risks and their potential mitigation strategies.

We welcome this project, as it aims not only to improve road safety for professional drivers but also because it cares about their health and wellbeing as a pillar in the transportation workforce.

In these first few months, we set the project plan and sharing space as well as the initial ethical and data protection policies for any activities involving humans and data handling. Moreover, we held several conceptual and technical meetings in order to lay the groundwork for PANACEA.

The first outcomes of the project are a recent literature review on the impairing states addressed (i.e., fatigue, sleepiness, stress, alcohol, drugs, distraction, and cognitive load), where we identified the complexities underlying these factors and any competing solutions. The technologies identified in the literature review along others were benchmarked against the project technologies based on pre-defined indicators.

Our SENSAIR touchless in-car alcohol sensor, the LEITAT optical biosensor that will detect not only the licit or illicit drug but also their concentration even after five days they were consumed, the on-board fatigue driver monitoring and operator support DATIK FitDrive system are cutting-edge solutions, which will be integrated into the PANACEA platform to form the PANACEA solution.

Next steps include holding focus groups and interviews across the pilot sites (Linköping, San Sebastian, and Thessaloniki) with shuttle operators, bus, electric truck, coach and taxi drivers as well as courier service riders and stakeholders (traffic control center operators, police officers, scientists, etc.) to investigate their health and wellbeing needs and requirements across different working shift phases (e.g., before, during and after the shift).

The work accomplished over the first eight months is being utilised to create and develop the scenarios that will reveal the necessary functions and functionalities of the PANACEA solution and the interactions among the main actors (drivers, riders, operators, police officers, and coaching and support specialists) of its ecosystem.


The coordination team

Bus drivers’ brainwaves monitored in South Korean safety pilot

The South Korean province of Gyeonggi is trialling an alert system that monitors bus drivers’ brainwaves in a bid to reduce accidents and improve safety.

The sensors – developed by Hyundai Mobis – will be placed in drivers’ ears and analyse their focus, fatigue and stress levels in real-time.

Drivers will receive “visual, auditory and tactile alerts” if they are deemed to be driving carelessly or are drowsy.

Read more on the Cities Today website.

Dr. Fran Pilkington-Cheney

Mark Hawthorne

Elena Guerrero San Vicente