A podcast all about…countermeasures!

In this episode, we talk to Prof Ashleigh Filtness from Loughborough University about how the Panacea project is developing countermeasures to help professional drivers stay fit to drive.

New Year – New Podcast

Happy New Year from the Panacea team.

In this first podcast episode, we talk to Dr Selpi from Chalmers University of Technology about how the Panacea project is developing a system that uses multiple sensors to test whether a transport professional is fit to drive.

We also look at how the system is being tested in the real world.

To find out more about Dr Selpi’s work on the Panacea project, read her profile here:

Two years down the research road

An update from the project leaders Anna Anund and Katerina Touliou.

We are pleased to report significant progress in our PANACEA platform development. Over the past two years, our partners have been working diligently on defining technical and functional specifications, the technologies per Use Case, as well as identifying the data characteristics. The integration process for each Use Case is well underway, with technical verification and validation already started.

Data gathering on the accuracy and appropriateness of each technology for the CHTs (Commercial Health Toolkits) is done, researching the state-of-the-art in the field. The development team has made a decision to strive towards using more suitable metrics, taking into consideration the integration of sensors.

In addition to this, the PANACEA cloud-based countermeasure system is under development and the evaluation framework has been defined. We have recently completed simulator studies on fatigue, distraction, and alcohol to support the development and refinement of the algorithms. An evaluation of the drugs biosensor in real operational settings has been done on almost 600 drivers by police officers in Norway by our partner ROADPOL.

Our UC-driven pilots are currently in the final stages of integration and we are excited about the outcome of PANACEA. We aim to create new assessment technologies and countermeasure strategies, which will form a new fitness to drive paradigm applicable in commercial vehicle operations with vehicles at various automation levels.

Update on the Work Packages

PANACEA project partners have been working hard delivering the work required of them under the project’s various Work Packages. Many of the PANACEA deliverables are confidential and therefore cannot be published in full. However, a summary of all the deliverables submitted to the European Commission so far are now available on our website here. These include: Deliverable 2.1 which describes the functional and operational requirements of all the subsystems that form part of the PANACEA platform; Deliverable 3.1 which describes the types and sources of measurements needed in order to form a holistic Fitness to Drive assessment; Deliverable 5.1 which describes the prototype operational cloud-based coaching and support system.

WATCH: New video explains the PANACEA project’s innovative approach to maintaining fitness to drive among professional drivers

This short explainer video gives an overview of the PANACEA project showing how the sensors, cloud technology, and driver feedback interact to help maintain fitness to drive.

An update on our use case testing

Use Case A – Shuttle buses, Linköping, Sweden

The baseline data collection started in April. During this time, eight shuttle operators will be using a smart-watch to register sleep, the Sensair sensor to detect alcohol, the AIT sensor to detect stress and the Datik system to detect fatigue. After four weeks, the countermeasures will be activated and the full PANACEA system will be up and running. 

Use Case B – Delivery service riders and taxi drivers, Thessaloniki, Greece and Graz, Austria

We have already completed a simulator study committed to improving the accuracy of the Driver Monitoring System algorithm in detecting cognitive distraction.

We are currently conducting experiments to collect data and refine our algorithms to combat impairing conditions such as fatigue, stress and alcohol consumption in delivery service riders and taxi drivers.

Our PANACEA solution is set to undergo its final performance evaluation in just three months and we are eager to evaluate its usability, usefulness, and acceptance by commercial drivers and riders, as well as operators and managers.

The PANACEA solution will detect and monitor fatigue, stress and alcohol consumption, as well as drugs and deliver relevant countermeasures.

To ensure that our technology is effective and relevant to the transportation industry, we will be conducting focus groups and interviews with stakeholders and investigating the transferability of our findings to other transportation areas as well as analysing impact assessment simulations and calculations focused on road safety and the ‘Vision Zero’ impact areas.

Use Case C – Electric truck and coach drivers, San Sebastian, Spain

In Spain, the focus will be on analysing risky situations due to fatigue and offering countermeasures to mitigate for them. The pilots are due to start very shortly. In the meantime, the last details are being refined so that data capture can begin.

Drug testing hardware pilot with Norwegian police

The PANACEA team was in Norway in March to prepare for a pilot test of the drug testing hardware that will be used for the project use case trials.

The technology is being trialed by Norwegian police. It will later be installed at depots in order for professional drivers to take pre-shift drug tests as one element of the PANACEA fitness-to-drive system.

The training was carried out by PANACEA team member Elena Guerrero San Vicente.

On the road with the PANACEA team

Here is an overview of events where members of the PANACEA project team have presented our research:

European Commission’s H2020 RTR, February 2023

At this conference of EU funded road transport research, PANACEA was delighted to have been invited to take part in a session on safety together with the EU-funded VIRTUAL and iDREAMS projects. PANACEA’s project partner, ETSC, was able to present the work carried out in the project so far and the ambitions for the future.  


TRA, November 2022

TRA is one of Europe’s biggest Research and Technology Conference on transport and mobility. In November 2022, PANACEA teamed up with its sister Horizon 2020 project, FitDrive, to co-organise a session on human-centred countermeasures for impaired driving in commercial drivers. There were presentations from PANACEA partners VTI, Loughborough University and Virtual Vehicle, and presentations from FitDrive partners ITCL Technology Centre and Roma Tre University. 


Humanist Summer School, September 2022

Two PANACEA project partners, Deep Blue and VTI were at the Humanist Summer School held in Vienna in September 2022 presenting work related to the PANACEA project. Anna Anund (VTI) gave a presentation on ‘Assessing physical & cognitive ability to drive in professional drivers’ and François Brambati (Deep Blue) presented on ‘The meaning of human factors within your academic discipline or in your line of work’. Both presentations can be found here.


TIS Roma, September 2022

TIS Roma aims to promote knowledge of new trends in mobility systems and transport infrastructures. PANACEA partners from Sapienza University in Rome took the opportunity to present the PANACEA project at this conference.


Beyond Expo, September, 2022

Technologies being used in the PANACEA project were showcased at the Beyond Expo held in Greece in September 2022. Beyond Expo is an opportunity for technology leaders, decision-makers and the industry’s game changers to meet up and present cutting-edge ideas and products.


International Exhibition of Thessaloniki, September 2022

The International Exhibition of Thessaloniki, an event attended by ministers, was another opportunity to demonstrate some of the technologies that will be used in the PANACEA project including the Optalert fatigue glasses and the BACtrack Skyn​, a wrist-worn device for measuring alcohol.


7th International Conference On Traffic And Transport Psychology (ICCTP), August 2022

Dr Fran Pilkington-Cheney from Loughborough University presented a poster at this conference – Real-world measurement of driving impairment – based on work she had been doing for the PANACEA project. A copy of the poster is available on our website here.


Mid-term review meeting, San Sebastian, December 2022

PANACEA partners came together in December 2022 for the project’s mid-term review. Progress towards all the project deliverables was discussed with PANACEA’s Project Officer and there was also an opportunity to see how DATIK’s fatigue sensor, which will be used in the Use Cases, works in practice. We were pleased that all the project deliverables submitted so far were accepted by the Commission at this meeting. Many thanks to everyone at DATIK for being a great host!

PANACEA research on measuring distraction published

A difficult challenge for today’s driver monitoring systems is the detection of cognitive distraction.

New research, recently published in the journal ‘Sensors’ by members of the PANACEA project team, presents the development of a theory-driven approach for cognitive distraction detection during manual driving based on temporal control theories.

It is based solely on changes in the temporal variance of driving-relevant gaze behavior, such as gazes onto the dashboard (TDGV). Validation of the detection method happened in a field and in a simulator study by letting participants drive, alternating with and without a secondary task inducing external cognitive distraction (auditory continuous performance task).

The general accuracy of the distraction detection method varies between 68% and 81% based on the quality of an individual prerecorded baseline measurement. As a theory-driven system, it represents not only a step towards a sophisticated cognitive distraction detection method, but also explains that changes in temporal dashboard gaze variance (TDGV) are a useful behavioral indicator for detecting cognitive distraction.

EU Road Safety: Towards “Vision Zero”

PANACEA was pleased to have been included in the CINEA brochure, EU Road Safety: Towards “Vision Zero”. This brochure presents a comprehensive overview of projects managed by CINEA and funded under Horizon 2020 – the EU’s R&I programme (2014-2020) – that develop, test and exploit innovative solutions for a safer road transport.