Road transport is indispensable for the exchange of goods and persons, but at the same time has severe negative consequences, among others related to road safety and environment. In order to meet EU targets, both the number of road crashes and vehicle emission levels need to be reduced substantially.
For identifying the next generation of measures that will enable us to actually reach these targets, a far more in-depth understanding of road user behaviour is needed. The proposed UDRIVE project is building on the experiences of the PROLOGUE feasibility study and various Field Operational Tests (FOTs), and aims to contribute to developing this in-depth knowledge.
The in-depth analysis of UDRIVE will involve:
- Conducting a large-scale European Naturalistic Driving (ND) study
- Building one central database with the collected ND data
- Performing targeted analyses in the areas of:
- crash causation factors and associated risks
- distraction and inattention
- vulnerable road users
- Applying the findings in four specific area, notably:
- the identification of new and promising countermeasures
- the potential of simple DAS for monitoring performance indicators over time
- the improvement of driver behaviour models for road transport simulation
- the possibilities for commercial applications of ND data;
- Leaving behind the collected data to be used, subject to legal and ethical constraints, for additional analyses once UDRIVE is finished.
During a two-year data collection effort, UDRIVE will collect information on 470 vehicles, each for one year: 240 passenger cars, 150 trucks, and 80 powered two-wheelers. All data, including video data showing the forward view and the view of the driver as well as GIS data, will be collected continuously to enable knowledge in the various research areas to be brought well beyond the current state of the art.
Increasing vehicle safety
A naturalistic driving (ND) study is taking place to increase understanding of road behaviour to help make roads safer and road traffic more sustainable.
Transport is a necessary component of daily human life for people as well as for the exchange of goods. Yet, road safety and environmental factors are some of the negative consequences related to transport. The number of road crashes as well as vehicle emissions need to be reduced to meet EU targets. In order to achieve such goals, an in-depth understanding of the behaviour of road users is required.
In light of this, the EU-funded project 'European naturalistic driving and riding for infrastructure &vehicle safety and environment' (http://www.udrive.eu/ (UDRIVE)) is building on a previous feasibility study along with various field operational tests (FOTs) to develop in-depth knowledge via the first large-scale European ND study.
Describing road-user behaviour has been a main project objective thus far. It is being manifested in numerous ways, some of which involve road network characteristics, traffic conditions, driver safety, high-risk groups and driving style. Identifying new approaches is another key project objective. This includes defining measurable safety and environmental performance indicators, improving current models of driver behaviour, and looking at driver support systems and targeted training.
Considering the link between design and data analysis, UDRIVE's methodology included data management, analysis and collection as well as impact. Due to budget constraints, the team decided it was more feasible to use waves of participants driving and riding for nearly two years rather than waves of vehicles for one year.
Technical specifications of the data acquisition system (DAS) have been prepared. A request for proposal was issued on the website at the end of May 2013, and 5 to 10 potential suppliers were directly informed. A lot of interest has been shown thus far.
One of the main results to follow to the end of the project is finalising DAS development. Once all steps are final, the work will have a positive impact on road safety and environmental hazards.