Project goals

The main goal of the project ESIMAS is the development and demonstration of a flexible, modular and innovative expert system, which provides high quality data for a real time safety analysis and risk assessment through the development and enhancement of new and existing detection systems. It also derives real time recommendations for measures and actions from the obtained data and processes them for the tunnel operators.

Components of ESIMAS

Major components of ESIMAS are the new developed data fusion and risk assessment systems which allow real time analysis, plausibilisation and evaluation of safety-relevant data coming from different detection technologies. Both innovative detection systems and existing detection systems according to current regulations, such as fire alarm cables, extinction meters and induction loops, are incorporated. As part of ESIMAS, the following systems are to be (further) developed:

  • Infrared scanning to detect overheated vehicle parts
  • Video detection with digital image analysis for the detection of accidents, fires, hazardous goods or conspicuous objects
  • Traffic monitoring to determine the traffic composition by means of further developed induction loop technology
  • Sensors embedded in the road pavement for detecting the axle loads and the total vehicle weight in traffic (“Weigh in Motion”, WIM)
  • Vehicle silhouettes detection systems with optical cameras or laser scanners

Integration of ESIMAS into the tunnel control centre

Safety-relevant information is prioritised and visualised in the tunnel control centre. With the help of ESIMAS, the responsible personnel in the tunnel control centre can take appropriate preventive measures (e.g. speed reduction, blocking the tunnel, traffic diversion to other routes) in order to ensure the safety of all road users in the tunnel depending on the traffic condition. Incidents (e.g. fire inside the tunnel) can be detected shortly in time and reliably based on data analysis and assessment of ESIMAS. The chart flow below (click to enlarge) illustrates the data flow and the sequence of processing in the system.

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In addition, recommendations for proper incident management in real time are provided by ESIMAS to the tunnel operators, as well as to the rescue and emergency services. On the basis of these recommendations, further measures for dealing with incidents, such as fixed fire fighting systems, can be successfully applied.

For the success of ESIMAS, it is important that the operating personnel in the tunnel control centres is able to handle the system properly. This requires a particularly high quality ergonomic design of the human-machine-interface in order to enable the human monitoring, management and control of the tunnel incidents with maximum efficiency and to thus minimize the risks of faulty decisions. The information coming from of the expert system according to the evaluation of the safety situation and the risk analysis as well as the proposed recommendations need to be functional for the tunnel operator with minimal cognitive effort in order to assist the prevention, incident detection and management with optimal support.

Project structure

The project ESIMAS is divided into the following eight different work packages: