Accident prevention: AI as a tool for preventing road tragedies

Current problems and the need for innovative solutions

The increase in traffic and the complexity of interactions on the road have led to an accident-prone scenario on our roads. Traditional solutions are not sufficient to address road safety in a comprehensive manner. A significant transformation is required that not only addresses the consequences of accidents, but also prevents their occurrence.

Innovations in in-vehicle AI and V2I technology

Driver assistance systems, collision detection and autonomous driving have emerged as essential elements to improve road safety. The integration of AI in vehicles benefits drivers as well as pedestrians and cyclists. These technologies work proactively to prevent accidents and reduce the risk of collisions and collisions.

Technological advances in vehicles are not only limited to autonomous or driver assistance capabilities. Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) communication systems are also being developed to enable more seamless interaction between vehicles and road infrastructure.

V2I systems allow vehicles to communicate with the surrounding road infrastructure, such as traffic lights, traffic signs and traffic management systems. This means that drivers can receive real-time information about road conditions, such as road works in progress, accidents or congestion, allowing them to make more informed and safer decisions.

In addition, V2I systems can facilitate the implementation of more efficient traffic management technologies, such as traffic light coordination to reduce congestion and improve vehicle flow. They can also help improve road safety by alerting drivers to risky situations, such as construction zones or dangerous intersections. Thanks to AI, car companies can manage road data, improvements in manufacturing and maintenance processes, and useful statistics for both their devices and administrations.

The need for AI data for administrators and policy makers

AI provides valuable information on traffic patterns, critical risk points and driving behaviour. Real-time data is essential for developing strategies and policies to improve road safety and reduce the number of accidents. Collaboration between AI and traffic authorities is essential to implement effective measures to prevent accidents and save lives.

In road safety management, data is essential and artificial intelligence (AI) plays a crucial role in its analysis. Here we explain how this data can help administrations and authorities:

  1. Risk point prediction:AI analyses historical accident data and traffic patterns to identify areas with a high probability of accidents in the future. This information allows preventive measures, such as changes in signage or improvements to road infrastructure, to be implemented to reduce the risk of accidents at these hotspots.
  2. Traffic optimisation:Data collected through traffic sensors and monitoring systems feed AI algorithms that can predict congestion patterns and traffic flow. This helps adjust traffic light timing and divert traffic to alternative routes, minimising congestion and improving transport efficiency.
  3. Identification of high-risk drivers:AI analyses driving behaviour data to identify drivers with risky driving habits, such as speeding or inadequate following distance. This information allows authorities to target enforcement to those drivers who pose the greatest threat to road safety.
  4. Evaluation of safety measures:Collecting data on the implementation of road safety measures, such as changes in signage or new speed regulations, allows authorities to evaluate their effectiveness. By analysing how accident and traffic patterns change before and after the implementation of these measures, authorities can make informed decisions on where and how to allocate resources to improve road safety.

Example of the digitisation of road safety systems using IoT technology - Metaurban® SMART

Today's digital and communications technology is sufficiently mature and has a sufficient economy of scale to design specific solutions that provide added value to road and urban equipment. Its potential is very large and varied, from the detection of risk situations on the road and their real-time warning to users, to the detection of events and useful data for the administration in order to make better decisions in mobility management. The Metaurban® SMART parapet, developed and patented by Metalesa, combines the classic benefits of a restraint system approved according to UNE EN1317 (which provides passive road safety), with PLUG&META® technology that provides added value in several areas:

  • Accident and run-over prevention.
  • Automatic notification in case they happen.
  • Capture of data and events as useful information.
  • Remote management of signalling.

Installation in urban and metropolitan areas ensures the protection of pedestrians and cyclists. Metaurban® SMART acts as an active road safety measure, making it an essential component of a safer road environment.

The future of road safety: Protecting and engaging with citizens

Reducing road crashes leads to fewer injuries, less congestion on the roads and a quieter, more efficient road environment. It improves the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, promoting a safer and more sustainable environment for all road users.

The future of road safety depends on a collective commitment to further progress in the development and implementation of innovative solutions. The continued integration of AI on our roads, together with solutions such as Metaurban® SMART, brings us closer to a scenario where traffic accidents are a concern of the past.

Eco-goals: our sustainable contribution

Welcome to the heart of Metalesa, where sustainability is not just a goal, it is our unwavering commitment! In this article, we will look at the Eco-Targets, the four pillars that guide our mission to be leaders in environmental and social responsibility.

Solar panels: clean energy for a sustainable future

Every action counts, and at Metalesa, we are committed to significant change through solar energy. Our facilities are equipped with solar panels that capture sunlight and transform it into clean electricity. This step towards energy self-sufficiency not only reduces our carbon footprint, but also propels us towards a more sustainable tomorrow.

Did you know that thanks to our solar panels, we have covered 39.6% of our consumption needs and reduced our dependence on non-renewable sources? This investment in green technology is a testament to our commitment to the environment.

Additional benefits of solar panels

Exploring the use of solar panels goes beyond simply adopting a clean energy source; it involves immersing oneself in a series of impactful benefits that impact various aspects of our society and environment. Let's take a closer look at these additional benefits, understanding how solar panels are a comprehensive solution with significant positive impacts:

  1. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions: By going solar, we make a significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a crucial factor in climate change. Solar panels generate electricity without releasing carbon dioxide or other harmful air pollutants. This approach offers a route to a cleaner and more sustainable environment, making a direct contribution to the fight against climate change.
  2. Energy independence and long-term stability: Dependence on non-renewable energy sources exposes societies to fluctuating oil prices and energy crises. By incorporating solar panels, greater energy independence is achieved by harnessing an inexhaustible and free source: solar radiation. This independence not only ensures long-term stability in energy supply, but also reduces vulnerability to fluctuations in the global energy market, providing a path to long-term sustainability.
  3. Contribution to global awareness of renewable energy: By adopting solar energy technologies, we actively participate in creating global awareness of the importance of renewable energy sources. Solar panels are not only a practical solution on an individual or corporate level, but also serve as a beacon to inspire others to follow the path of sustainability. This contribution goes beyond the production of electricity, extending to the creation of a global community committed to a greener and healthier future.

Using recyclable materials: forging a circular future

At Metalesa, the excellence of our products is not only about quality, but also about environmental responsibility. In the manufacture of every item, we are committed to using recyclable materials, thus driving the creation of a circular future and significantly minimising our impact on the environment.

This conscious choice means much more than just producing durable goods. By opting for Metalesa products, you are making a decision to support solutions that go beyond your individual needs; you are supporting the preservation of our planet. Our unwavering dedication to recycling is not simply a duty we fulfil, it is a promise we seal with every product that leaves our facility.

Imagine a world where every product not only serves its purpose, but also contributes to a sustainable cycle. At Metalesa, we're not just building products, we're building a future where responsibility and quality are intertwined to form a lasting commitment to the health of our planet.

Sustainable innovation in our commercial fleet: towards electrification

At Metalesa, we strive to not only deliver quality products, but to do so in a sustainable manner. Have you ever wondered how we achieve this balance? The answer lies in our commercial fleet, a tangible manifestation of our commitment to electrification and the reduction of pollutant gas emissions.

Our fleet, your benefits:

We explore the salient details that make our fleet a model of sustainability:

  1. Hybrid vehicles: By opting for electrification, we have incorporated hybrid vehicles into our fleet. These vehicles not only consume less fuel, but also emit less polluting gases, marking a firm step towards reducing our carbon footprint. Every delivery we make becomes a conscious act towards a healthier environment.
  2. Advanced technology: We don't stop at electrification; we have integrated advanced technology into our fleet to maximise efficiency. Real-time tracking of our routes ensures that every journey is planned as efficiently as possible, reducing unnecessary driving times and further minimising our environmental impact.
  3. Constant innovation: Innovation is part of our identity. We constantly explore options to improve our fleet and thus our contribution to sustainability. From evaluating new technologies to sourcing alternative fuels, we are in a continuous search for greener and more efficient methods for our delivery operations.

Every delivery we make is not just a product arriving at its destination; it is a step towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly business model. At Metalesa, we are moving towards electrification in the knowledge that every choice counts in building a future where innovation and sustainability go hand in hand.

Zero discharge wastewater treatment plant: taking care of our water resources

Our responsibility is not limited to air and land; we also embrace water. We operate a zero discharge wastewater treatment plant, ensuring that our production processes do not negatively affect the quality of nearby water resources.

How does this contribute to general well-being?

  • Water conservation: We avoid contamination of local sources.
  • Community engagement: Our responsibility to those around us.
  • Transparency: Accessible information about our practices.

Join us on the road to a sustainable future

At Metalesa, every action we take is driven by the desire to contribute to a more sustainable world. Our Eco-Targets are more than just goals; they are the core of our identity and the engine that drives our commitment to sustainability.

Ready to be part of the sustainable revolution? Join us on this journey and choose products that not only meet your expectations, but also contribute to a greener, healthier planet.

Frequently asked questions:

  1. How do solar panels contribute to sustainability? Solar panels capture the sun's energy and convert it into electricity, reducing dependence on non-renewable sources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. Why is it important to recycle in the manufacture of products? Using recyclable materials in manufacturing helps reduce demand for natural resources and minimises waste generation, thus contributing to building a more sustainable future.
  3. How can I contribute to zero landfill? As a consumer, you can choose to support companies committed to sustainability and responsible water management, such as Metalesa. By doing so, you indirectly contribute to the goal of zero landfill.

Act today for a more sustainable tomorrow! Explore our product range and choose sustainability in every purchase. Together, we can build a greener, healthier world.

Changes in the regulations on barrier transitions and terminals

When talking about vehicle containment systems, the first thing that comes to mind are safety barriers and parapets. These linear elements are installed on the edges of roads to prevent vehicles from leaving the road and causing serious accidents. Although these are the first that come to mind, there are also other types of vehicle containment systems, such as impact attenuators, transitions between systems, barrier terminals, removable barrier sections and protection systems. of motorcyclists.

All of these systems are regulated by different European regulations that establish the requirements that must be met to be classified in one of the categories contemplated by said regulations. In the case of transitions and barrier terminals, the reference standard is UNE-ENV 1317-4:2002 and in this article we want to talk to you in a little more detail about the changes that are to come.

This standard, which has been in force since April 30, 2002, has never been harmonized by UNE-EN 1317-5:2008+A2:2012. This means that any Transition or Terminal that meets the tests specified in said standard will be accepted, but will not have the CE marking. Therefore, this standard is voluntary and there is no clear impulse on the part of the administrations to require this type of products evaluated under the protection of this standard.

This situation gives rise to points on the State Highway Network that are not well resolved and that can cause serious accidents.

The need to modify this regulation

The European standardization committee “CEN/TC 226/WG 1 – Crash barriers, safety fences, guard rails and bridge parapets” is responsible for preparing regulations relating to the field of vehicle containment systems. The CTN 135 Road Signage Equipment Committee hangs directly from this committee. SC1 Safety Barriers, of which the Metalesa team is a member.

For years, work has been going on within TC226 to modify the UNE-ENV 1317-4:2002 regulations to somehow remove the vehicle containment systems it regulates from the regulatory block. However, to date this task had not been achieved successfully as it was a complex task.

Transitions and terminals, by definition, connect to other systems. A transition is a longitudinal section that joins two systems, such as barriers or parapets, using special pieces that guarantee a logical transition of rigidities. A barrier terminal is a point system, such as an impact attenuator, that connects to a barrier or parapet. Therefore, the evaluation of a barrier terminal involves evaluating the connection between the barrier or parapet and the terminal, which is equivalent to evaluating a transition between systems, even if one of them is not a barrier or parapet.

When it comes to harmonizing these systems under the same standard, there is a big step that must be overcome: there are a multitude of barriers, parapets and terminals on the market that, as we have said before, comply with the regulations but do not have CE marking, which which makes it tremendously complex to establish clear rules to evaluate them and not limit free competition.

New regulations on transitions and barrier terminals on the way

Once the variability in this type of products is understood, it is understood how complex it is to regulate them, however, last June the deadline for voting in TC226 ended. This vote examined the publication of reports and technical specifications that establish the evaluation methods of each of these systems separately and facilitate administrations in establishing criteria to demand the different benefits of the systems, definitively separating them from the marking. EC.

The new regulations of these systems would be as follows:

  • Barrier terminals are regulated by FprCEN/TS 1317-7. It is a technical specification, so every 3 years it is decided whether it becomes a standard to be harmonized and be able to have the CE marking.
  • Transitions are regulated by FprCEN/TR 1317-10. In this case it is a Technical Report, that is, it does not have to be reviewed at any time, being a declaration of intentions regarding the fact that the transitions will not have CE marking.

With this change in the paradigm of the regulations of Barrier Terminals and Transitions, administrations no longer have to demand a CE marking that could not be obtained, since UNE-ENV 1317-4:2002 is repealed.

Finally, it should be noted that now it is the turn of the administrations to pick up the gauntlet and establish what tests or requirements are required for this type of products to be installed on the roads they regulate. Some administrations, such as the French one, have already championed this change and have requirements aligned with the new regulations.

Active Road Safety, how this new concept is transforming roads

Technology is progress, and progress makes us evolve as a society. Thanks to technological advances, new forms of communication and mobility have been created that have devised new concepts. For example, in the case of vehicles, new technologies such as electric propulsion have become popular, giving birth to personal mobility vehicles (PMV).

PMVs are becoming more common within cities and have generated a new mobility ecosystem that is presenting new challenges. The current road network has to adapt to these new habits. This means that there are new elements at stake, raising possible accidents that make it necessary to take another step-in accident prevention.

Active Road Safety, a new way of understanding accident prevention

At Metalesa, our commitment has always been to improve people's quality of life. One of our goals is to act by offering protection solutions in any of its fields. Whether it is acoustic or road protection, we always try to offer the best solutions. As our claim says: Protection, our goal.

This is why, due to the evolution of society, technology, and connection networks that already allow us to achieve 5G transfer speeds, we wanted to go one step further in our objective and consider an assumption: how can we mitigate the severity of the accidents? Could we prevent them? How can the authorities act at the time of an accident without the need for them to receive a phone call? This is what we have coined under the concept of Active Road Safety.

What is Active Road Safety?

Active Road Safety is a new concept that raises road safety to a new level. With the use of connected equipment, it is capable of collecting traffic and environment data, analyzing it in real time and notifying all road users if there is a risk of an accident due to poor visibility, traffic jams, among many other cases without intervention. from third parties.

In addition, connectivity means that in the event of an impact or risk detected on the road, the equipment may be able to notify the authorities autonomously and, on the spot, so that they can quickly manage the necessary assistance.

Differences between Road Safety and Active Road Safety

Until now, road safety equipment had a passive role in accident prevention. In the event of a vehicle impact, its task was to mitigate the severity of the accident, absorbing part of the energy and preventing the vehicle from leaving the road.

With Active Road Safety, road safety equipment starts to take an active role on the road, being able to collect data with the integrated sensors, analyze it and adapt its characteristics autonomously to communicate with road users through lights or being able to coordinate with other information elements such as variable signaling panels.

In this way, in addition to being able to communicate with road users, it is also capable of communicating with the authorities and traffic management centers. You can notify an accident in real time, collect traffic or air quality data and notify according to pre-established parameters.

Environments of action of Active Road Safety for infrastructures

Roads are a space shared by different types of vehicles and users, from cars or trucks to smaller ones such as VMP, bicycles or even pedestrians. This means that there are a series of factors that can put the safety of users at risk, such as speeding, non-segregation of lanes, dangerous curves or sections with reduced visibility.

If we make a list of all these factors, the following would be the most important:

  • Weather conditions with reduced visibility, such as fog. The reduction of visibility in the wagon is a key factor in the event of an accident, since the driver does not have a good area of visibility.
  • Dangerous curves or uneven road sections. These situations can lead to accidents due to loss of control of the vehicle.
  • Traffic funnels and retentions. Heavy traffic and congestion can increase the risk of accidents and decrease the efficiency of circulation. Users in a state of stress may disobey road safety precautions.
  • Accidents in interurban areas. The lack of signaling and indication in certain urban areas can cause serious accidents that directly affect our citizens.

How does Active Road Safety solve problems on the road?

One of the advantages of Active Road Safety is that it can be adapted to road conditions. For example, in heavy rain, adaptive lighting systems can be adjusted to improve driver visibility and reduce the risk of accidents. Similarly, in low visibility situations due to fog or ice, sensors can detect these conditions and alert the driver to exercise caution.

Another advantage of Active Road Safety is that the risk of accidents and injuries can be reduced. Implementing specific road safety measures can help prevent accidents and minimize the impact should one occur. For example, the installation of safety barriers and warning signs on dangerous curves or uneven sections of road can prevent vehicles from running off the road in the event of driver error.

In addition, Active Road Safety can also improve traffic efficiency. For example, real-time traffic information systems can help drivers avoid traffic jams and congestion, reducing travel time and improving the efficiency of driving on the road.

If you want to find out more about this new concept and find out how Metalesa is working to make it a reality, you can consult our microsite on Active Road Safety, where we talk in more detail.

For a safe Christmas on the road

We are approaching the Christmas holidays, when we usually meet with our loved ones, sometimes traveling many kilometres to be back home for some days. For us, the best Christmas gift is that all drivers arrive safely at their destinations.

Data that, even if you don't like it, we have to tell you

According to the DGT, last Christmas 57 fatalities were settled in traffic accidents on Spanish roads. Most of the accidents involved loss of control and run-off-road collisions. 21 people were vulnerable users (pedestrians, motorists and cyclists) while 35 were vehicle drivers.

This is not data kind to say, but, if we want to make drivers aware of the importance of being careful on the road this Christmas, it is necessary to expose the reality as hard as it is. Hopefully this year this figure is reduced to the minimum possible. Let's do our best to achieve this goal.

Traffic accidents: why do they happen more at Christmas time?

  • At Christmas trips increase, up to a 16 million estimation. The more cars out there, the more chances of suffering an accident, so it is essential to exercise extreme caution at the wheel.
  • Increase in alcohol consumption: Christmas lunches and dinners stand out for their joy, delicious food, and as a general rule, a few extra drinks. Something as simple and effective as the famous 'if you drink, don't drive', unfortunately it is not followed literally, and every Christmas, a considerable number of drivers test positive for breathalyzer, posing a great danger to safety drivers and themselves.
  • Adverse weather conditions: Winter weather can play against us. Strong winds, icy roads, fog or rain multiply the danger on the roads. These adverse weather conditions make it difficult to control the vehicle and can trigger accidents, so it is important to slow down, keep a safe distance from other vehicles and drive with all 5 senses on the road.
  • Speeding: Speeding is the leading cause of traffic accidents at Christmas. These are dates when we tend to get overwhelmed by last minute purchases and the unexpected ... But rushing on the road is never a good option. Think before acting!

With all these factors in mind on the road, we can all have a happy Christmas free of bad news. These dates are to be enjoyed to the fullest!

Protection is our goal: Discover our products

Whether it is Christmas or not, whatever the date, road safety does not understand holidays and we are always there. Our products, both on Spanish and international roads, take care of the people who travel every day, protecting people, saving lives.

Next, we show you some of the products that we design, manufacture and install at Metalesa to guarantee the safety of what matters most to us: people. Because you deserve a Christmas full of love and happiness.

Bridge equipment

The bridges on the roads represent sections of more danger for drivers, therefore, we take care of providing them with protection measures through the installation of equipment for bridges.

Bridge Metal parapets

A metal parapet is a vehicle restraint system approved according to the UNE EN 1317 parts 1 and 2 standard, so that having passed the relevant full-scale tests it has obtained the CE marking. It is placed in passage works, wall crowning, bridge decks ...

We have the META13 bridge parapet and the META16 metal parapet, essential as elements to guarantee road safety.

Some of its advantages:

  • Both parapets allow the placement of acoustic screens and vandal-proof fences at a very short distance from the parapet.
  • In the event of a vehicle crash, replacement of items is quick and inexpensive.
  • It is very versatile with the possibility of placing grilles or protection systems for motorists
  • High durability through discontinuous galvanization, allows thermo-lacquering in the different colors of the RAL chart.

Railings for bridges

Bridge rails function as a restraint system for people or other personal mobility vehicles.

We have a wide variety of models of steel railing for bridges that are easy to install, being able to choose the most suitable thermo-lacquered finishes and colors for the integration of the railing with the landscape.

We also manufacture stainless steel railings, with steel cable or other designs that will cover any project requirement.

METALESA_barandilla M003

Metal bridge fascias

A metal fascia for bridges is an element that finishes off the edge of the bridge deck, either to accommodate electricity, gas or water conduits or for cladding. This type of bridge equipment embellishes the bridge, not only providing functionality, but also elegance.

Cornices for bridges

Like fascias, cornices for bridges are a type of equipment for bridges that also reinforces the structure by providing greater rigidity, and allows housing to accommodate electricity, gas or water conduits. They are very common in France.

Crash cushions

Crash cushions are considered one of the most effective life-saving devices. They consist of a deformable structure that brakes the vehicle in the event of a crash, absorbing the impact, considerably reducing the serious consequences of the accident.

At Metalesa we have a wide variety of models, which is essential to place them in the correct position on the road so that they can fulfill their function. Each model is suitable to withstand different energy levels depending on the weight and type of vehicle and the impact speed. In addition, these are approved according to the UNE EN 1317-3 standard, which defines the test conditions for obtaining the CE marking.

This Christmas, we are going to accompany you on all your trips. We want to protect you and that your destiny is none other than to meet those you love so much. Our products on the roads save lives, but never let your guard down because Road Safety does not understand holidays. Protection is our goal!

Crash Cushions and Barrier Terminals. Application criteria

Vehicle Containment Systems (VCS) are undoubtedly one of the key elements when it comes to measuring the level of road safety on our road network. These systems, if installed with the appropriate quality standards, significantly reduce the consequences of accidents, mainly off-road or frontal impacts.

There are many national and international regulations that allow the evaluation and certification of products, and that establish a guide of criteria to install them properly, always according to the characteristics of the road and the prescriptions of its manufacturer.

Regulations for vehicle containment systems

The applicable regulation in Europe is UNE EN 1317, which includes several parts with which to evaluate barriers, parapets, crash cushions, transitions between VCS, barrier terminals, removable barrier sections, as well as motorcyclist protection systems. Once established throughout the common European area, each administration must transpose these guidelines by adding its own local criteria. In the case of the Spanish administration, installation criteria for vehicle containment systems is defined in the 35/2014 Circular Order.

This regulation applies in the National Roads Network establishing installation criteria mainly for both barriers and bridge parapets. However, if you are looking for installation criteria for crash cushions or terminals, you will hardly find any reference in article 6.6 where terminals are mentioned as barrier ends, in articles 6.7.3 and 6.7.4 where their differences are mixed, and finally, in article 9, where they are once again mixed up without clarifying when to use one or the other.

Crash cushions have CE marking because part 3 of EN 1317 is harmonized by part 5. However, the terminals do not have CE marking as they are not harmonized by that part 5.

Terminal and Impact Attenuator Performance Levels

Additionally, these systems are classified according to their level of behaviour:

  • The Crash Cushions can be of classified as Behaviour Level 50, 80, 100 and 110. This number refers to the speed at which they are tested. For each level, the standard provides for 5 full-scale tests with different directions and angles of approach.

  • The Barrier Terminals are currently classified by their Class of Behaviour P1, P2, P3 and P4 according to part 4 of the standard. This part 4 is valid, but it is expected to be imminently replaced by a new Technical Specification for Barrier Terminals recently approved by the Standardization Committee. In this TS, the Terminals are classified differently, as T50, T80, T100 and T110, which is a very similar classification to that of the crash cushions. As for the full-scale tests, up to 6 tests are contemplated to evaluate their behaviour.

All these tests make it possible to characterize the crash cushions and barrier terminals, assigning them deformation parameters associated with the displacements that have occurred in the test itself, as well as severity values ​​for the vehicle occupants.

Criteria for application of Crash Cushions and Barrier Terminals

As seen, the European regulations brings some light to these road safety systems, but when it comes to the actual project on site, where the variety of scenarios is very wide, OC 35/2014 lacks criteria about when using terminals and/or crash cushions, compared to the exhaustive detail of barriers and parapets. For example, in the case of barriers and bridge parapets we can define what level of behaviour is required depending on the severity of the accident and the characteristics of the road. However, in the case of terminals and crash cushions there is no common criteria that guides the choice of the system. One option is to choose the system based on the speed of the track and the speed at which the system was tested. Curiously, this criterion is not the one applied to barriers or bridge parapets, where it is common to install a parapet tested at 70 km/h on a road where driving at 120 km/h is allowed.

Another common point of installation of barrier terminals and crash cushions is in divergences. Once again, the OC lacks installation criteria in these locations, a problem that raises many questions. For example, which road branch to prioritize and whether or not the shoulders of both branches have to be respected, or, for example, the position of the system on the crossroads, more or less away from the vertex of the divergence. In this case, it will be necessary to assess how much barriers of both branches can converge.

This positioning variability affects the chosen solution, since the crash cushions and barrier terminals can be obtained in families where, for the same system, there are several solutions in terms of widths and even inclinations of the walls, from 300mm to 2300mm wide.

These very brief notes regarding application criteria barely cover a few of the many doubtful aspects that are dealt with in much greater detail in a 40-minute webinar where, with many examples, photos and videos, we try to shed some light on the criteria that we are currently applying, To see this webinar access here.

Range of Impact Attenuators with CE marking from METALESA

By way of conclusion, we would like to point out that private companies are systematically developing new and better systems that optimize road safety conditions on our roads. But none of these will not go very far if it is not led by legal and regulatory tools that define how to use VCS efficiently and homogeneously. At Metalesa we have extensive experience in application criteria for these systems after multiple projects, and in case of doubt, we will be happy to advise and guide any technician and professional to shed some light on this world of vehicle containment systems.

Crash Cushion C80 P330
Crash Cushion C80 P600
Crash Cushion C80 P900
Crash Cushion C80 P1600
Crash Cushion C80 D2300
Crash Cushion C100 P330
Crash Cushion C110 P330
Crash Cushion C110 P600
Crash Cushion C110 P900
Crash Cushion C110 P1600

Smart Cities, an ecosystem full of opportunities

At this point we will not spend much time defining a Smart City. If you want to dive into the concept of the Smart City, we invite you to review the article on what a Smart City is that we already shared on this topic.

To complement this information, today we will explore some real examples of Smart City, as well as trends that, over time, are proving to have bigger impact on services to citizenship.

Some examples of Smart City

The United Arab Emirates have created a city whose objective is not only sustainability, but also to be self-sufficient in natural resources. It is the City of Masdar, in Abu Dhabi. It hosts intelligent buildings that self-regulate the interior temperature, and systems to minimize the effects of the sun. Public transport is autonomous and the electricity grid is supplied 100% by solar panels.

New York is one of the most populous cities in the world, and one of the benchmarks in Smart City in the United States. In 2015, the so-called 'BigBelly' were introduced, rubbish bins equipped with wireless sensors to control their capacity, allowing the waste collection service to program routes more intelligently. This system includes a solar-powered trash compactor that helps increase the container's capacity by five.

In Amsterdam, 67% of journeys through the city center are made by bicycle. Although surprising, bike traffic jams happen usually at rush hour. In recent years, the city has deployed a network of sensors and a traffic management system for bicycle users, in such a way that, during those hours of greatest occupation, alternative routes can be defined and proposed to users to speed up travel .

The case of Barcelona

We can also find many examples of Smart City projects in Spain, for example, in Barcelona.

Urban transport systems have introduced hybrid buses, solar panels on bus shelters and the routes of the bus network have been optimized to be able to make 95% of trips with a maximum of one transfer between two destinations in any city . All this thanks to big data and the analysis of the influx of users and their routes.

Waste management has also incorporated digital technology in a similar way to New York. A container system with the capacity to generate a vacuum system allows the elimination of bad odours, at the same time, it incorporates available capacity sensors in real time that communicate to a centralized system that allows optimal routes to be optimized every day.

A smart street lighting system with low-energy bulbs and sensors that can measure humidity, temperature, air pollution, and the presence of people or noise is used throughout the city. In this way, the lighting intensity is adapted autonomously, reducing energy consumption. This is usually one of the first measures deployed in any Smart City as it offers direct savings on energy bills at a very reasonable cost and with technology that has already been widely tested in a real environment.

Trends for Smart Cities

Smart Cities are not a thing of the future, they are very much of the present. We refer to the previous examples on how a public service can be optimized with the application of technological projects. But not everything goes. Disruptive solutions can be invented and ingenious projects deployed, but in the medium term, which ones will actually have real success colonizing the majority of cities? What ideas or technologies or services will be the ones that will capture the attention and budgets of municipal administrations?

The first reflection is that this will depend on each city. Depending on your location, population, culture, idiosyncrasy or even the political profile of your rulers at a given time, you will define your priority challenges. Some will advocate for traffic management and sustainable mobility, others for water management and others for citizen security among many possible lines of work.

Identifying those motivations to submit the most suitable proposals will increase the probability that an opportunity will become a real project.

That said, if we statistically analyze the most common projects, we see common trends.

Technological infrastructure Data interoperability

A Smart City would not be such if it does not have sensors that collect a flow of data on which decisions can be made to improve or manage the resources available. This information already demonstrates a large volume and will be exponentially growing in the future. For this reason, it is necessary to work on sufficient storage capacity, on robust communication networks and on management software that is as centralized and open as possible to guarantee the correct processing of data in real time and interoperability between services and administrations. Without investing in these technological infrastructure capacities, it is almost impossible to advance in the deployment of the Smart City.


All data collected and stored is highly valuable information that must be protected to prevent cybercrime. Let us remember that many of them may refer to personal data or behavioral habits of citizens, who expect maximum privacy in exchange for providing them.

For this reason, cybersecurity is one of the critical aspects that administrations must work on. Citizens will only join the wave of the Smart City if they feel to a certain degree confidence that their data is protected, and that there is no fraudulent, partisan or economic use of it.

Smart traffic management

In large cities, traffic is usually a major problem that generates major headaches for managers and citizens. In addition, its consequences in terms of air pollution and noise are very negative.

The implementation of technology (cameras, sensors...) that allows obtaining real-time data on traffic in order to optimize routes is an obvious line of work. For this, the use of classic urban equipment as a platform in which to integrate digital technology should be considered. For example, intelligent containment systems can contain impacts when there are road exits, but also prevent accidents and provide statistical information in real time.

Metaurban® SMART

First parapet approved with active safety

Find out!

Public lighting service or waste management

Public lighting represents a very high expense for the city's bill. For many years now it has been confirmed that an investment in autonomously controlled LED technology for lighting regulation is a technically robust and profitable project in the medium term.

The digitization of the waste collection service has started later but, as we have explained, there are already numerous pilot projects in this line.

Useful projects for Smart Cities

Smart Cities cannot be the new excuse to place technological services without value. Each proposal must quantitatively demonstrate resource efficiency, sustainability, useful information, or a better experience for people. And ideally several of these benefits combined.

At Metalesa we have been working for many years to provide optimal solutions for Smart Cities, thinking of the ultimate benefit that citizens will obtain, for example, our Metaurban® SMART, the world's first smart urban parapet with active road safety, which not only contains, but also prevents and informs. An innovation that invites the private sector to transform urban equipment and take it to a new dimension by integrating it into the Smart City ecosystem.

Whether you are from a public administration and are looking for ideas, or a company interested in developing new products and looking for alliances, do not hesitate and contact us. We will be happy to help you and explore ways of collaboration.

United Nations World Road Safety Week

Like every year, the third week of May marks the United Nations World Road Safety Week, an event that wants to put in the spotlight the various dangers that exist on the roads to create awareness, thus serving as a loudspeaker for developing regulations that help reduce incidents and save lives.

Last year, a campaign was launched under the slogan #StreetsForLife #Love30. The goal was to create residential urban areas with a speed limit of 30km/h, thus contributing to make cities safer, more ecological and suitable for different mobility models, vehicles, scooters, bicycles and VMPs.

This was the first of many campaigns that have been planned as part of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030. This action plan is part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a worldwide voluntary action plan agreed upon by the Member States of the United Nations to protect the planet and all of us who inhabit it, and which seeks, among many other sustainability objectives, to be able to prevent at least 50% of traffic accidents by 2030.

This is more urgent than ever because recent studies speak out about worrying trends. According to Fundación Linea Directa, "the urban accident rate among vulnerable users could worsen, causing up to 5,500 deaths in Spanish cities by 2030, which represents an annual increase of between 30 and 50%". Among the main arguments that the study exposes are the massive deployment of bike lanes in urban environments, the popularity of VMPs, or the lack of social awareness of sustainable mobility.

The new models of urban mobility, a new need

Within the objectives of the 2030 Agenda, special emphasis is placed on the concept of Sustainable Cities: large human settlements in which resource consumption is sustainable without harming air quality. This is why in recent years awareness campaigns have been designed towards more sustainable mobility inside and outside urban areas with the creation of Low Emission Zones and the expansion of pedestrian and bicycle lanes.

With all this, new means of personal mobility have emerged and regulations have become obsolete or have had to be adapted, thus giving rise to new needs in road safety systems.

First approved parapet with active safety

Metalesa's mission is to protect people, it is to save lives. Uniting this purpose with this context of new mobility in urban environments, the idea arose of creating the new Metaurban® SMART, the first parapet with active road safety, that is, it not only passively waits to contain an accident, but also prevents these happen through intelligent signage.

The development of this new product responds to society's growing need to have approved products as a guarantee of quality for urban and peri-urban areas, while taking advantage of new technologies and the deployment of 5G communications to bring containment to a new dimension as smart products.

It is a system fully aligned with the new trends in infrastructure management: security, sustainability and connectivity.

  • It guarantees safety because it has been tested on a real scale as certified by the CE marking.
  • It promotes sustainable mobility by making the new infrastructures in cities safer and friendlier.
  • It is connectable because it integrates PLUG&META® technology, which not only waits for the accident to happen, but also identifies risk situations, and acts by alerting road users through signalling, minimizing the probability that these accidents will happen. Up to 10 functional scenarios have been developed, for example, accident warning, pedestrian presence, excessive speed, traffic jams, or bad visibility warning, among others.

It is a totally innovative parapet because, as can be seen, in addition to containing it in the event of an accident, it prevents these from happening, and also collects data and informs the municipal authority of all those events that are desired, from quality data of air, counting or multiple statistics of events detected by the sensors incorporated in the parapet.

Metaurban® SMART

First parapet approved with active safety

Find out!

The system is modular, in such a way that SMART technology can be incorporated only in that section where there really is a special need, and the rest can be a traditional containment system that is 100% safe before leaving the track.

And all of this can be managed remotely thanks to the management platform accessible from any device.

In this way, a traditional containment system has evolved into a new traffic management and urban mobility and information service for the city.

The Metaurban® SMART parapet represents a breakthrough in the urban equipment sector, prompting the imagination of how the IoT can transform static elements into active digital members of the smart city ecosystem.

Our goal is to improve people's quality of life, focusing our efforts on offering a range of technologically advanced security and protection solutions. If you want to know a little more about this technology, visit our new microsite.

Green facades against noise in large cities

Green facades against noise in large cities are an effective and sustainable alternative to the current lifestyle. Historically, nature has been introduced into urban environments through parks and green areas in delimited spaces. Over time this trend has been evolving, and more and more, the proposal aims at integrating nature and environmental awareness in our daily lives to develop a society that is as sustainable as possible.

What are green cities?

These cities are those that respect the environment to a greater extent and facilitate the coexistence of people with nature in their daily lives. Green cities seek to take advantage of natural resources, thus favoring friendly urban environments in such important aspects as green spaces, air quality, coexistence with animals or temperature regulation.

Large cities find it very difficult to adapt to this objective, which is why their authorities often seek disruptive solutions that attract sustainability without destroying everything that has already been built. One of the most effective solutions are vertical gardens. Flowers, aromatic plants and even urban gardens planted on walls that help clean the air and bring numerous benefits to people. Plants absorb CO2 from the air while producing oxygen, they have pleasant smells, they also regulate temperature and act as a layer against noise.

In cities like Singapore, always at the forefront of sustainability, or much closer, Vitoria-Gasteiz, named European Green Capital in 2012, we can find examples of this concept.


Our commitment to sustainability

At Metalesa we are committed to the environment and sustainability by providing innovative solutions, such as our screens against noise pollution. These screens are barriers specially designed to deal with the problem of noise pollution for both people and animals.

Today in particular, we focus on a solution for noise pollution that is also sustainable and provides great support for introducing vegetation into urban spaces.

Our Metagreen acoustic screens integrate nature into urban spaces in the style of vertical gardens. This product is in tune with the concepts of green cities and smart cities, since it provides the technology of acoustic screens against noise plus the benefits for the health of people and the environment with its natural cover of living vegetation.

Metagreen acoustic screens

The Metagreen sound-absorbing panel is made up of a hot-dip galvanized steel frame that fits between the fastening profiles of the support structure. Its interior is made up of rock wool and other materials that, together with the green plastic mesh, facilitate the growth of vegetation on both sides. In addition, they are sustainable, since the rock wool inside them is capable of retaining rainwater, which becomes a moisture reserve for the vegetation that grows outside.

Advantages of the Metagreen acoustic screen

Being a plant panel, it integrates magnificently with the landscape and blends in with the new model of green cities with vertical gardens. Among its most notable advantages it is important to highlight the natural properties of vertical gardens, such as the release of oxygen, as well as the absorption of CO2, temperature regulation and livening up of urban spaces, visually approaching natural spaces.

It also has numerous advantages such as its durability thanks to the galvanized anti-corrosion treatment, its excellent insulating and absorbing properties against noise pollution.


Plant-like sound-absorbing panels

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Where to install plant-based anti-noise screens?

One of the most common spaces where these screens are added is on roads, since their maintenance is minimal and simple. It is also very common to see them in urban, public and private areas, such as chalets or urbanizations due to their attractive plant aesthetics and their fantastic anti-noise properties. They perform a dual aesthetic and acoustic function.

How are Metagreen acoustic screens installed?

These screens are very easy to install, but it is convenient that any project is studied by our team of engineers to guarantee the expected acoustic result and the robustness of the solution.

Green cities are a great alternative to urban spaces far from nature. If you want more information about our Metagreen screens, or want to know our complete range of acoustic screens, contact us. We will be happy to help you.

Solutions to isolate traffic noise on roads and cities

Roads unite people. Every day it is estimated that millions of vehicles circulate on the roads.

At Metalesa, our goal is to ensure the safety of people. For this reason, we take care of guaranteeing safety while driving with our containment systems such as bridge parapets, terminals or crush cushions. However, on the roads there is another danger that is not seen, but heard. And not for vehicle occupants, but for the people who live around road infrastructures: noise pollution.

Noise pollution is a problem that we face every day both on roads and in urban environments. Its effects are harmful to people and the environment, therefore, society is increasingly becoming aware of it and taking action through specific action plans governed by the authorities.

Acoustic studies on roads

Precisely, one of these measures is the performance of acoustic studies. The pollution of a specific area can be measured with noise maps. If an excess of noise is concluded as a result of such study, the next step is to configure the optimum solution to attenuate it, normally with an acoustic screen.

Undoubtedly, acoustic screens are the best corrective measure to reduce the propagation of noise generated by road or rail traffic, since they act as a barrier between the receiver and the noise source, both absorbing and reflecting the noise waves. Thus, acoustic screens are the most widely used anti-noise systems in transport infrastructures, due to their rapid installation, their value for money and their effectiveness.

Our acoustic screens

At Metalesa, through the installation of our acoustic screens, we ensure the quality of life of people who struggle day to day traffic noise.

Our acoustic screens are conformed of sound-absorbing panels that provide quality acoustic and mechanical solutions. No only they minimize noise pollution from traffic on roads and railways, but also from many other sources such as industrial facilities (factories,...), commercial malls (air conditioning equipment), or massive events in public/private facilities (sport stadiums, leisure clubs, hotels…). All of our acoustic screens comply with European standards EN14388, EN16272 and EN16727.

Learn more about the Regulation of noise reduction devices for roads.

How to decide among different type of acoustic screens?

There are multiple drivers to analyse when choosing the right acoustic screen for a certain project.

  • On the one hand, the requirements defined by the acoustic study should guide the project.
  • It is essential to take into account the environmental and climatological agents to which the panels will be exposed. Mainly the wind loads that dictate the mechanical loads that the panel must support. Our experts in calculation of structures have extensive experience in designing the optimal solution for each case. But also other aspects such as the type of environment, which derives in different levels of corrosivity, and before which, the appropriate finishes must be applied. Or even climate or exposure to snow which may recommend different materials.
  • Finally, aesthetics is another part of the decision. Goals such as integration with a forest or a green landscape, or even keeping nice views of an attractive panorama, are issues to take into account and that can make one solution more convenient than another.

All these aspects must be taken into account together so that the technicians in charge of carrying out the project select the panel that best suits the needs of each acoustic screen work. We have several panel configurations for each scenario, all of them accredited by tests carried out in accredited laboratories: metallic steel or aluminum, methacrylate, wood or vegetable mesh. Having said that, the most commonly installed screens for road and railway infrastructures are steel ones. We have numerous models that solve any casuistry. You can see all our acoustic screens at this link.

But in this article, we focus on less common, but equally interesting speaker configurations:

Metawood noise barrier with wooden panels

This sound-absorbing panel is made up of wood modules of varying dimensions, which fit between the HEA/HEB fastening profiles of the support structure.

The wooden acoustic panel consists of the following elements:

  • Traffic side: In this part, pine wood boards are arranged with the possibility of making different combinations with boards horizontally, vertically and obliquely, achieving various aesthetic effects.
  • Sound insulation: It is a semi-rigid rock wool panel with a black veil that protects it from erosion and humidity.
  • Rear side: They are planed pine wood boards arranged horizontally.
  • Thanks to the Metawood panel, maximum noise insulation and absorption is obtained. In addition, thanks to their natural materials they allow an excellent landscape integration.

Metagreen noise barrier with vegetal panels

Rock wool and other materials are placed inside the vegetable acoustic panels, along with a green plastic mesh that facilitates the growth of vegetation. Rock wool is capable of retaining rainwater inside, becoming a highly valuable moisture reserve both for animals and to facilitate the growth of vegetation. Metagreen panels are made of recyclable and sustainable materials.

The Metagreen acoustic screen guarantees an excellent acoustic and absorbent effect, in addition, it has a long durability when undergoing a galvanized anti-corrosion treatment.

MP Acoustic Panel Range

Long useful life

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Mixed steel and methacrylate noise barrier

The mixed steel and methacrylate acoustic screen, like the previous two, also has exceptional sound-absorbing qualities. We put at your disposal all kinds of varied designs.

In addition, its aesthetics provide excellent landscape integration.

We show you the mixed acoustic screen of steel and methacrylate that we installed in the work of the N-1 in Lasarte (Guipúzcoa).

If you need more information about our acoustic screens, or want to know our complete range, contact us. We will be happy to help you.