Safe route-finding: A review of literature and future directions. Academic Article uri icon


  • While road navigation systems seek to determine the shortest routes between a given set of origin and destination points, there are certain situations in which the fastest route increases the risk of being involved in road crashes. This implies the necessity of integrating safe route-finding into road navigation systems. This study is designed to synthesize the literature on safe route-finding and identify the gaps in the literature for future research. Specifically, a scoping literature review methodology is applied to understand how safety is incorporated in route-finding, even beyond motor vehicle navigation systems. Three databases (Scopus, Web of Science, and IEEE Xplore) are explored, and controlling for inclusion criteria, 40 studies are included in this review. The findings of this review indicated five areas through which safety was considered in route-finding: motor vehicle navigation, public safety, public health, pedestrian and cyclist navigation, and hazardous material transportation. The measurement of safety was found challenging with inconsistencies in safety quantification approaches. The safe route-finding algorithms were investigated based on their predictive/reactive, static/dynamic, and centralized/decentralized characteristics. Based on the critical review of the safe route-finding algorithms, availability of real-time data sources, accurate real-time and disaggregated crash risk prediction models, trade-off between time and safety in road navigation tools, and centralized safe route-finding are highlighted as the requirements and challenges in considering safety in road navigation systems. This study outlines a research agenda to address the identified challenges in safe route-finding.

published proceedings

  • Accid Anal Prev

author list (cited authors)

  • Sohrabi, S., Weng, Y., Das, S., & German Paal, S.

complete list of authors

  • Sohrabi, Soheil||Weng, Yanmo||Das, Subasish||German Paal, Stephanie

publication date

  • November 2022