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eSafety Challenge 2011: Top Drivers Support eSafety Systems for Saving Lives

The 2011 edition of the eSafety Challenge took place on 31st of May in Vienna at the ÖAMTC Safe Driving Centre in Teesdorf, Austria, and brought together more than 300 delegates and representatives of the press. The event included the participation of Formula One World Champion, Sebastian Vettel, eight-time 24 Hour Le Mans Champion, Tom Kristensen, racing driver Alexander Wurz and Moto GP Driver Marco Simoncelli. The eSafety Challenge is a yearly event co-funded by the European Commission and the FIA Foundation to promote and highlight the life-saving potential of advanced vehicle safety technologies.

Opening Session
The event opened with a high-level session which included speeches by the ÖAMTC and FIA Region I President, Werner Kraus, the FIA President, Jean Todt, the Austrian Director General for Public Security, Herbert Anderl, and the Secretary General of the Federal Ministry for Transport, Herbert Kasser. The European Commission also showed its support to the event through the participation of Juhani Jaaskelainen, Head of Unit of ICT for Transport, the department funding the eSafety Challenge.

As in previous years, the eSafety Challenge 2011 received the support from motorsport with the participation of Formula One World Champion, Sebastian Vettel, 24 Hour Le Mans champion, Tom Kristensen, Racing Driver Alexander Wurz and for the first time, one of the top riders from Moto GP, Marco Simoncelli.

eSafety Exhibition Space
The exhibition has represented a central element of this year's event, with 12 companies and organisations showcasing the latest eSafety technologies and safety related projects. The exhibition included presentations of vehicle safety functions and components for passenger cars, light commercial vehicles and motorcycles, as well as information about related projects and campaigns such as the FIA "Action for Road Safety Campaign” and the European funded project on eco-driving “Ecowill”.

Once again, the demonstrations of eSafety technologies were this year’s main point of attraction for the public. Opened by GP Rider Marco Simoncelli, who was in charge of showcasing the importance of using ABS when riding a bike. Immediately after, Alexander Wurz explained how the City Stop system can help drivers to reduce the risk of having an accident. 24 Hour Le Mans Champion Tom Kristensen demonstrated Warning and Emergency Braking, while Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel showed the benefits of Electronic Stability Control. The session concluded with a spectacular demonstration of the eCall system, which included a helicopter and an ambulance at the rescue, all performed by ÖAMTC.

Hands-on driving experience
Participants had the opportunity to experience for themselves the benefits of several eSafety systems. The hands-on driving session proved very popular among the delegates who were able to experience the following technologies:

  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Warning and Emergency Braking
  • Adaptive Headlights
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Lane Support Systems
  • Speed Alert
  • Eco-driving
  • Park Assist Systems
  • Tyre Pressure Monitoring System

Supporting Study
The conclusions of a comprehensive study of car user’s acceptance of eSafety Technologies, carried out by eSafety Challenge in 10 European countries, were also presented at the event. The study found that although some 80% of respondents had found themselves in a dangerous traffic situation at one time or another, only half of them were willing to pay extra to have these technologies fitted to their car.

Eco-Driving Challenge
The presentation of these results was immediately followed by the Eco-Challenge, a competition that took place in the morning where participants had the opportunity to test their “eco skills” and gave them a chance to beat Alexander Wurz’s own eco-driving score. The best eco-driver, Frédéric Maeyens of the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium, was awarded a prize for his efforts.

Panel Debate
The Decade of Action for Road Safety was the focus of the panel debate in the last part of the afternoon session. The panel was opened by FIA Global Road Safety Ambassador, Michelle Yeoh, and moderated by David Ward, General Director of the FIA Foundation. The five different pillars of the Decade of Action were covered by a high-level panel of experts, including representatives from ASFINAG, AXA Accident Research and the European Commission.

eSafety Excellence Prizes
Three prizes were presented for excellence in the fields of Marketing & Sales, Driver Training, and Car Dealership. The awards went to AXA Winterthur, ÖAMTC Fahrtechnik Professional Driver Academy and Audi AG. For more information see here.

Download the full programme here  pdf (1.2 MB)

eSafety Challenge event 2011, Vienna

Download video:  vienna_event_2011.wmv (210.6 MB)

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