The UDRIVE Project organised an Invited Session on “The first-large-scale naturalistic driving study in Europe”. The special session was held at TRA in Paris on 17 April 2014.

The UDRIVE Invited Session focused on how Naturalistic Driving studies (ND) can contribute to addressing societal needs, providing recommendations for not only safer but also for more sustainable transport and improved mobility. Besides the role ND studies play with regard to understanding safety-related behaviour, eco-driving and mobility, the session also addressed the differences between different types of road-uses, the specific characteristics of ND studies of motor-riders, and how to exploit the results of ND studies.

The UDRIVE project is the first European large scale NDS. In seven countries data on the behaviour of truck drivers, car drivers and riders of Powered Two-Wheelers (PTW) are collected and analysed. The UDRIVE ND study in Europe involves 120 cars, 50 trucks and 40 powered two-wheelers that are being instrumented and that will collect data for 21 months.

ND is a research method/approach undertaken to provide insight into driver behaviour during every day trips by recording details on the driver, the vehicle and the surroundings through unobtrusive data gathering equipment and without experimental control.

Presentations during the session were given by Rob Eenink, Head of Road Safety Research Department, SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research; Oliver Carsten, Professor of Transport Safety, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds; and Martin Winkelbauer, Senior Researcher KFV Kuratorium für Verkehrssicherheit. The session was moderated by Yvonne Barnard, project manager ERTICO – ITS Europe.

The presentations highlighted how the UDRIVE project aims to increase our understanding of road user behaviour and contribute to meeting the European road safety. UDRIVE will build one central database with collected ND data. Within UDRIVE, analysis will be performed of characteristics of everyday driving, crash causation factors and associated risks, inattention and distraction, car drivers interacting with pedestrians and cyclists, rider (PTW) behaviour and driving styles in relation to eco-driving.

The results will be applied in 4 specific areas: new and promising measures to make traffic safer and more sustainable, the potential of ND for monitoring performance indicators over time, driver behaviour models for road transport simulation and exploration of commercial applications of ND data.

After the project, other researchers will be able to re-use the data collected in the UDRIVE project. They will be able to apply to access the raw, anonymised data.

Currently the UDRIVE project will start with the recruitment of the drivers and riders and during the summer a start will be made with installation of the data acquisition systems in the participants’ own vehicles. In the autumn 2014 the project expects to have 210 instrumented vehicles on the European roads. Data will be collected for 21 months and analysis will be performed on a part of the data.

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For more information on UDRIVE: www.udrive.eu 

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