Safety of People in the Rescue and Evacuation Processes of Passenger Ships


Key Info

Basic Information

01.10.2013 to 30.09.2016
Research Area:
Information Design and Data Visualization



Alexander Mertens

Head of Ergonomics and Human-Machine Systems Department


+49 241 80 99494




Despite the modern technology, accidents and total technical failures cannot be completely ruled out so that due to an increasing number of passengers in passenger shipping, new concepts for safe emergency evacuation are needed. In the event of an evacuation, special consideration must be given to the elderly persons and people with limited mobility.


The goal of the SIREVA project is to develop innovative concepts and technical solutions that serve the "Safety of People in the Rescue and Evacuation Processes of Passenger Ships" (SIREVA). In cooperation with partners from industry and research, the IAW investigated questions of acceptance as well as possible approaches to supporting elderly persons and people with limited mobility.


The focus of the IAW’s work is on studies of both the acceptance of and help for the elderly and people with limited mobility, and the involvement of the target groups.

In the context of studies on the acceptance of technical solutions, relevant factors for acceptance were identified on the basis of interviews, some with people who have mobility impairments, as well as comprehensive literature research. The technology acceptance model developed from this was validated by means of a survey with over 2,000 participating passengers and provides important insights into predicting and influencing acceptance.

With regard to the study on help for persons with limited mobility, an eye-tracking study showed the relevance of timelines on digital escape route displays to help in decision-making (see figure 1). In a follow-up study, an age differentiated examination of the influence of movement on inclined planes, comparable to an inclined position on a ship, on the resulting physical strain as well as on decision-making was investigated for escape route displays (see figure 2).



The SIREVA research project was funded by the BMBF – Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) – in the thematic field of “Maritime Sicherheit” (Maritime Security) as part of the “Forschung für die zivile Sicherheit II” (Research for Civil Security II) program. On behalf of the BMBF, the VDI/VDE-IT carried out the project management.

Project Partners

ATS Elektronik GmbH
Fraunhofer FKIE
Hochschule Wismar, Fachbereich Seefahrt
INTERSCHALT Maritime Systems AG
ISV – Institut für Sicherheits-technik/Schiffssicherheit e.V.
Lloyd's Register
Marinesoft GmbH