TeleFOT - Field Operational Tests of Aftermarket and Nomadic Devices in Vehicles
TeleFOT was a Large Scale Collaborative Project under the Seventh Framework Programme, co-funded by the European Commission, DG Information Society and Media and within the strategic objective 'ICT for Cooperative Systems'.
The objectives of the TeleFOT project were to assess the impacts of functions provided by after-market and nomadic devices in vehicles and raise wide awareness of their traffic safety potential. These devices can provide different types of driver support functions, however, there is limited information with regard to their safety and other impacts.
The functions to be tested covered two broad areas and promoted:
- Safe driving
- Economic and fuel efficient driving
More specifically, these were Speed information, Traffic information, Road weather information and 'Green driving' support. The impacts were assessed on levels ranging from usability, behaviour and incidents, safety, Green Driving and efficiency, to the impacts on the transport system. Attention was also given to possible negative impacts, as smartphones in particular, are not originally designed for vehicle use and navigators may have problems with the fixing and positioning in the cockpit. The project also aimed at speeding up the penetration of systems able to 'see' beyond drivers' field of vision in conditions where good situation awareness is needed. TeleFOT provided opportunities to test the impacts of similar functions that future cooperative systems will provide after their development challenges have been overcome in the coming years.
In fact, aftermarket and nomadic devices will provide an alternative to some important cooperative driving and ADAS functions for many years to come. The concept comprised of creating three European test communities: Northern, Central and Southern. About 3000 drivers participated in the tests and the project had strong national support and no resources were needed for setting up the testing infrastructures. Business models were also studied. It was necessary to have test communities spanning from North to South, as traffic behaviour and reactions to safety measures in Europe are very different.
TeleFOT constituted the largest pan-European field trial of functions provided by in-vehicle aftermarket and nomadic devices that has been conducted to date. During its lifetime, the project has utilised and further developed the methodology of Field Operational Tests to assess the impacts of functions provided by these devices in several domains including safety, efficiency, environment, mobility and user uptake. Some of the issues addressed within the FOTs included whether the functions cause distraction, improve traffic efficiency, increase travel speeds and help the driver to avoid congestion.
- Although the absolute impacts of driver support functions that aftermarket and nomadic devices provide are not high, they are positive in various dimensions of personal mobility.
- Navigation support and traffic information is of primary importance for improving traffic efficiency
- Speed information /alerts provide longitudinal control but overall their effects seem to be secondary
- Green driving appears to have a conflicting effect to traffic efficiency
- Increases travelling time
- Decreases time spent with dangerously small headways (when paired with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems)
- The implementation of traffic information is positive from the perspective of the driver, however, the macroscopic effect for other road users and road operators requires further studying with various penetration rates to holistically assess traffic efficiency
- Actual, long-term impacts will be assessed within this decade, both within Europe and world-wide, as their exponential penetration is apparently inevitable
- The future innovative devices will most likely integrate more complex functions and will lead the way to hyper systems and the deployment of enhanced co-operative systems
Navigation support, traffic information, speed limit information / speed alert could not be proved as being beneficial for the environment with the available data. Additionally, no negative influences of these functions could be recognised
In general, only very small changes in indicators for safety were observed and so it cannot be concluded that the functions have a significant impact on safety.
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