75% of French drivers admit to using the phone behind the wheel

A new survey carried out by IPSOS says 75% of drivers admit to using a mobile phone at the wheel.

Distraction is a major cause of road collisions. The PANACEA project is investigating monitoring of and countermeasures of distraction as part of a holistic fitness to drive trial system.

Read about the IPSOS survey.

“Ignore your boss” – new campaign in Belgium tackles distraction at the wheel

A new road safety campaign in Belgium tells drivers to ignore their boss, by refusing to take business calls while driving.

Using a mobile phone while driving is a major cause of distraction and collisions. The PANACEA project is looking at countermeasures for distraction as part of its work on a holistic fitness to drive system.

Read about the new road safety campaign.

One in four drivers admit to being over the limit the morning after a night out

One in four motorists admit that they may have been over the limit when driving the morning after a night out, according to new research from the Irish Road Safety Authority (RSA).

The RSA’s Driver Attitude and Behaviour Survey found that 9% of motorists indicated they had consumed alcohol before driving in the past 12 months

A total of 26% agreed ‘there were times when they may have been over the limit when driving the morning after a night out’.

Read the full story on the Irish Times website.

The PANACEA project is looking at drink-driving as one aspect of fitness to drive and will trial technology to detect drink-driving before and during shifts for professional drivers.

Report for the European Commission finds benefits of alcohol interlocks for HGVs outweigh costs

A new report on drink-driving for the European Commission suggests mandatory fitment of alcohol interlocks in heavy goods vehicles could be a worthwhile investment.

The PANACEA project is looking at how to best monitor drink-driving among professional drivers before and during driving, in light of the latest technological developments.

Read more about the report on the ETSC website.

New minibuses, buses and coaches in Spain must be fitted with alcohol interlocks

Spain will require all new types of M2 and M3 vehicle, i.e. mini-buses designed to carry more than eight people, buses and coaches, to be fitted with an alcohol interlock device later this year.  That coincides with new EU rules that require an interface for such a device on all new types of road vehicle.  France already requires alcohol interlocks on buses and coaches used in public transport, but Spain has gone even further than France and also included mini-buses.  The government had also proposed fitting them to HGVs – but that category was dropped during the legislative process.

Read more on the ETSC website.

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.

US congress mandates in-car technology to stop drink driving

The US government may require monitoring systems to stop intoxicated drivers, which would roll out in all new vehicles as early as 2026, after the Transportation Department assesses the best form of technology to install in millions of vehicles and automakers are given time to comply.

The Panacea project is looking at emerging technologies to help prevent drink-driving among professional drivers. To keep updated on our progress, follow us on twitter, LinkedIn and sign-up for our newsletter.


Follow the Panacea project on LinkedIn

If you are on the professional social network LinkedIn, did you know that you can now follow the Panacea project? We will publish our latest updates on the platform, as well as here on our website. Please do go to the page and click ‘follow’ to keep in touch.


Spain may introduce alcohol interlocks for buses and lorries

Legislators in Spain are currently discussing a road-safety proposal which could see alcohol interlocks introduced on buses and lorries from next year.

Monitoring alcohol use by professional drivers is one of the areas under investigation by the Panacea project, looking at which emerging technologies could help reduce the problem among various groups, including bus and lorry drivers and taxi drivers. Stay tuned for more as our work progresses.