In accidents in the European Community around 55,000 people are killed and 1,700,000 are injured each year, from which 150,000 become permanently disabled.
Novice drivers' related accidents (people with less than 2 years experience) accounted for 15% of traffic accidents in 1995 in Great Britain. A mere reduction of 1/3 of them would mean 4,125 less fatalities, 12,750 less injuries and 560 Meuros less expenditure for medical treatment. It is well known that young drivers overestimate their driving skills in contrast to older drivers. Furthermore, they are not familiar with the actual dynamics of their vehicle, which define for example the minimum stopping distance for a certain speed.
Traditionally, driver training has focused on vehicle control skills and traffic rules without reaching far enough in the efforts to provide risk awareness and other higher order skills.
The risk awareness problem is included in driver training in many countries but rather in a theoretical way, included in text books, and is not covered in practical training. This is unsatisfactory, since young drivers tend to think 'It's only a problem for others, not for me as I am so clever'. The reason is that this problem cannot be systematically handled in practical training, as on roads it is very uncertain and even dangerous that a risk situation may occur.
Hence, realistic, interactive off-road tools are required.
The project's objectives have been:
- To develop a new cost-effective pan-European driver training methodology, which will pay significant attention to the enhancement of risk awareness of learning drivers. It will also familiarise them with emerging Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, like ABS, EDS but also Adaptive Cruise Control, navigation aids, etc.
- To develop a methodology to assess and support driver's cognitive skills.
- To develop a new interactive multimedia training tool in 8 languages to support driver training and assessment in strategic and manoeuvring tasks (theoretical driver training improvement), to familiarise novice drivers with the basic principles of driving tasks and to provide a better understanding of risks.
- To develop a low cost and enhanced reliability static driving simulator (4 prototypes) to support driver training and assessment in manoeuvring and control tasks for practical driver training in driving schools, based to the maximum extent on existing elements from the market.
- To develop a mean cost and high performance semi-dynamic driving simulator (4 prototypes) to support specific needs of selected driver cohorts (novice drivers with enhanced knowledge problems, re-training of drivers in high-risk groups), extending the previous one, i.e. visual field up to 180° and simulation of lateral transient forces effect into the horizontal direction.
- To develop new training and assessment criteria and methodologies, tools to capture them and a normative driver behaviour database, to allow trainers to monitor driver training and authorities to extract statistical data concerning driver training.
- To provide recommendations and best practice guidelines for the adoption of common European driver training and assessment framework.
The work started with an overview of driver training curricula in Europe and the identification of driver instructors' needs in support. The legal training curricula for categories B, C and D as well as best practices by particular driving schools throughout Europe were collected and stored into a multimedia training curricula database, allowing the easy extraction of different systems commonalities and differences.
Driving instructor needs were systematically gathered through a relevant pan-European questionnaire review seeking feedback from over 100 driving schools Europe-wide.
In parallel, novice drivers training needs were assessed through a bibliographical survey, accident analysis based on 6 EU countries, a relevant questionnaire survey as well as relevant driving simulator and on-road observations, so as to identify the relevant gaps in knowledge and requirements for supportive tools.
A pan-European workshop in Brussels was used to evaluate relevant experts' opinions and disseminate preliminary project results. Based upon the above needs, an interactive multimedia training tool was developed to support the training on the strategic and tactical / manoeuvring driving tasks, especially under hazardous traffic conditions and to enhance the theoretical training and assessment of drivers. The relevant software is supported in 8 languages.
Furthermore, a stationary low-cost and a semi-dynamic mean-cost driving simulator was developed to support the training on the tactical / manoeuvring and control driving tasks, especially in complex and safety related situations.
Driver psychomotor and cognitive performance indicators (such as reaction times, perception times, response accuracy, errors in a number of driving tasks, etc.) were correlated to driving ability in search of training and assessment criteria and a new driving training assessment methodology (focusing on dual task scenarios and considering ethical and personal data security aspects) was developed.
TRAINER has developed an interactive, multimedia training tool and two modules of a driving simulator (static and semi-dynamic one), paying attention to their cost-effectiveness.
It provided practical guidelines for the deployment of the proposed curriculum and training tools.
The following specific results have been achieved:
- Development of a concise compendium, available on CD-ROM, of drivers' training and assessment curricula and methodologies from 24 countries;
- identification of major gaps and priorities for further improvement of the novice drivers' training through extensive literature survey, accident analysis of generic data and 3 detailed databases, interviews with 26 driving assessment experts from 24 countries, interviews with 122 driving instructors from 8 European countries;
- systematic mapping and prioritisation of recognised gaps and inefficiencies, according to a 4-level driving task model (developed in EU project GADGET), structuring them into 'vehicle manoeuvring', 'mastering traffic situations', 'goals and context of driving', and 'goals for life and skills for living' subcategories;
- development of approximately 100 detailed scenarios, covering the recognised gaps and inefficiencies, to be taught with the help of the multimedia training tool and/or driving simulators;
- review and analysis of driver training tools from 6 EU countries (17 multimedia software and 23 driving simulators), identifying their technical characteristics, costs, market penetration and limitations;
- wide dissemination of the project concept and raising of user awareness through an international workshop in Brussels (in 2000), the distribution of 500 posters and 2,000 leaflets, the launch of a project website with discussion forum, and the publication of 5 articles on the project so far;
- detailed specifications for a multimedia tool comprising 49 scenarios which has been produced in 8 languages;
- definition and description of 31 scenarios for all 4 hierarchical levels of the GADGET matrix for implementation in driving simulators;
- detailed specifications of low- and medium-cost driving simulator requirements;
- development of first prototypes of low- and medium-cost driving simulators;
- a truck simulator feasibility study;
- completion of 4 low-cost driving simulator prototypes and 4 medium-cost driving simul
The project significantly contributed to the promotion of traffic safety in the EU. Apart from the reduction of accidents by novice drivers, they will be able to gain driving experience while using the multimedia tool and the driving simulators developed by TRAINER.
The work towards identifying the needs of pre-and post-training of professional drivers (bus, truck, taxi, etc.), and the development of related training scenarios has also addressed EU initiatives on traffic safety.
The tackling of human factors issues on vehicle control systems, such as ADAS, being operated by novice drivers will be greatly facilitated by the automatic driver's errors capture and analysis within the normative driver behaviour database.
TRAINER has proposed guidelines for driving assessment and training procedures to EC aurthorities with the aim to establish a common and harmonised driver training and assessment procedure for Europe.
It has been recommended to evaluate drivers who underwent training courses using the TRAINER tools on long-term basis which would allow for further improvements to the tools and the overall training procedure.
No results directly relevant to this theme. However, please note that some findings relevant to the project
's key theme (Users Aspects) are generically applicable.
No policy implications directly relevant to this theme. However, please note that implications for the project's key theme (User Aspects) are generically applicable.
TRAINER has developed an interactive, multimedia training tool and two modules of a driving simulator (static and semi-dynamic one), paying attention to their cost-effe