UDRIVE at TRA 2014

This article is the first of a series that cover the Presentation* of the UDRIVE project at the TRA meeting in Paris on 16 April 2014.

In 2012, the European Commission decided to fund the first large scale European Naturalistic Driving Study; the UDRIVE project. UDRIVE’s objectives are two-fold: to identify well-founded and tailored measures to improve road safety, and to identify approaches for reducing harmful emissions and fuel consumption in order to make road traffic more sustainable.

Although there is a wealth of research on driver behaviour obtained in laboratory and simulator studies, there is a lack of understanding of what happens on the road in every day traffic situations. The Naturalistic Driving (ND) approach allows to observe and analyse the interrelationship between driver, vehicle, road and other traffic participants in ordinary situations, in conflict situations and, more rarely, in some actual crashes. Compared to instrumented vehicle studies, ND offers much wider perspectives in understanding normal traffic behaviour in normal everyday traffic situations. Participants are not involved in an experiment; there is no observer present, there are no experimental interventions or aims that participants can guess and act for. Furthermore, there is the possibility to observe conflicts, near-crashes or possibly even actual crashes without potential biases of post-hoc reports. As such an ND study can contribute to clarifying the prevalence of, for example, fatigue and distraction among drivers/riders and the related crash risk; the interaction between road and traffic conditions and road user behaviour, to understanding the interaction between drivers/riders and vulnerable road users; to specifying the relationship between driving style and vehicle emissions and fuel consumption; and many other aspects of traffic participation that are difficult to study by means of traditional research.

ND, a fairly new research method developed in the nineties of the previous century, has been become technically possible because of the tremendous developments in information and communication technologies, improvements in storage capacities, data-mining, image processing, low-cost camera technology, etc. in the last couple of decades.

*Presentation “UDRIVE: the European naturalistic driving study”

Rob Eeninka, Yvonne Barnardb, Martin Baumannc, Xavier Augrosd, Fabian Uteschc

SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research, Leidschendam, The Netherlands
b ERTICO – ITS Europe, Brussels, Belgium
c German Aerospace Center (DLR), Braunschweig, German

To be continued

Paper Presentation at Scientific & Technical Session STS 48
UDRIVE: the European Naturalistic Driving Study
16 April 2014; 14:00-15:30
For more info, click here and here

– See more at: http://udrive.eu/index.php/news/75-human-behaviour-in-road-transport-and-naturalistic-driving#sthash.loqFBd1r.dpuf