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Interface design: The next major advance in road safety.

Rechnitzer, G, Richardson, S, Shifman, M, Short, A

General

2009

Road safety initiatives over the years have been heralded by concepts such as behavioural issues, new safety features in vehicles and road improvement projects. These have progressively reduced the road toll by targeting high priority issues, but without new directions the initiatives may have diminishing returns over time. Furthermore, it is well known to engineers that holistic and system wide approaches such as Vision Zero are fundamentally more powerful as they target elimination with a coordinated approach to the problem rather than progressive reduction with isolated actions.

This paper identifies the concept of “Interface Design” as a potential catalyst for the next major advances in road safety. Interface Design is a holistic approach which encourages players in the development of systems to consider all possible interfaces of their project. The authors show some examples of interface design and in the process hope to highlight how this design and engineering approach represents a new frontier.