UOC researcher to analyse road safety in Barcelona and Madrid
Rubn Permuy
With support from the Catalan Cartographic and Geological Institute and the local police

One of the aims of the Espacio persona: big data para la mejora de la seguridad vial urbana (People Space: Big Data to Improve Urban Road Safety) project is to determine how safe it is to walk the streets of Barcelona and Madrid. It will take into account the amount of traffic and pedestrians, and the layouts and obstacles, among other things. The project is to receive funding from the Direccin General de Trfico (the Spanish government agency responsible for road traffic) and is coordinated by Javier Borge, principal investigator with the Complex Systems (CoSIN3) group at the UOC’s Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3).

“There is growing interest in focusing on people in urban settings and reducing the space set aside for vehicles,” said Borge. With this in mind, “our aim is to provide an indicator to show which urban areas are safe in terms of their layouts, functions and dynamics,” he added.

The research looks to analyse the different causes that lead to accidents involving pedestrians, such as things that impede pedestrians’ or drivers’ sight or hearing, or that require greater attention to avoid accidents, such as excessive speed, pedestrians on the road when they shouldn’t be, the urban topography (including the size of the pathways) and the amount of traffic.

The organizations taking part

This project to establish indicators based on big data will receive support from the Catalan Cartographic and Geological Institute and the local police force in Barcelona, who will provide information on the number of traffic accidents in the city. The project will also analyse data provided by the Spanish National Geographical Institute, Open Street Map and municipal websites. The information garnered will be made available through different digital platforms and applications in an accessible and adaptable format.

Alongside Javier Borge, the project will also involve Albert Sol, another researcher in the Complex Systems group; gata Lapedriza and David Masip, professors from the UOC’s Faculty of Computer Engineering, Multimedia and Telecommunications and researchers in the Scene Understanding and Artificial Intelligence (SUNAI) Lab, and lex Arenas, professor in the Faculty of Computer Engineering and Mathematics at Tarragona’s Universitat Rovira i Virgili.