In June 2012 the first large-scale European Field Operational Test of active safety systems – euroFOT – will come to a close and unveil unprecedented results. For twelve months, 1200 drivers travelled European roads in 1000 vehicles equipped with eight safety and fuel efficiency features. Aria Etemad, euroFOT Project Coordinator, explains how euroFOT results will impact traffic safety and efficiency, and invites us to take part in a unique experience at the euroFOT Final Event.
What does euroFOT stand for?
Aria Etemad: euroFOT stands for European Field Operational Test: it is the very first large-scale Field Operational Test (FOT) in Europe that assesses the benefits of active safety systems on traffic safety and efficiency. For 12 months, 1000 cars and trucks equipped with active safety systems (8 functions were tested, one of them focussing on fuel efficiency) travelled European roads. During that period of time, over 100 terabytes of data were collected, which we are now analysing.
What is the added-value of carrying out such studies?
A. Etemad: When active safety systems are developed, the testing is usually done considering the system itself, whereas an FOT allows you to study how ordinary drivers interact with these systems in real traffic conditions. Therefore, through sound scientific studies, not only can we assess the impact of the systems per se, but also their impact on users and their behaviour.
What is the expected outcome of euroFOT?
A. Etemad: Carrying out this study will help us measure the benefits of the tested systems on traffic safety and efficiency. Furthermore, we will be able to assess driver acceptance of these functions. Some preliminary results are already available in this regard: for instance, we have used a ‘time-based’ questionnaire for drivers to report whether they think the system is helping them in their driving task and whether they feel it has an impact on their safety. The questionnaire was issued 3 times: at the beginning of the study, after a few months, and finally after the 12 month period for which the test was running. We consequently noticed that, if at first users didn’t think the systems to be helpful, after 12 months of using them over 70% reported that they believe the tested functions increased their safety. What’s more, results have shown that there are positive secondary impacts to using active safety systems: Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), for instance, proved to help reduce fuel consumption by 7% overall – the added value of the system thus extends beyond traffic safety.
When will the final results of the study be available?
A. Etemad: The project will come to a close in June this year. Therefore the results will be presented for the first time at the euroFOT Final Event that will be held at the Autoworld Museum, in Brussels, on 26-27 June 2012.
What can the public expect to discover?
A. Etemad: Our intent for this event is twofold: first of all we wish to discuss the lessons learnt and the technical achievements with regard to analysing and assessing huge amounts of data; second of all we will show the benefits of active safety systems through cost-benefit analyses and therefore promote these systems. We can already state – based on our experience within the project – that these systems clearly increase traffic safety. All of this will be presented to the public – alongside technical experts, decision-makers, industry representatives, etc. – in a two-day conference and exhibition that will guide them through every step of the study – from the definition of use-cases to the analysis of data and the execution of the FOT. Simulators and cars will even be available for attendees to test some of the functions that were evaluated within the project. As I said before, euroFOT is the very first large-scale European FOT on active safety systems, and it is also the first time that stakeholders will be able to discover and experience the scientific results of a European Field Operational Test which will help bring intelligent vehicles to the road.
Register for the euroFOT Final Event and discover the results of a unique study
The euroFOT Final Event will take place at the Autoworld Museum in Brussels, on 26-27 June 2012. On this occasion, the project results will be unveiled to an audience of approximately 300 stakeholders (decision makers, industry representatives, experts, OEMs, dealers, etc.) who will have the opportunity to discover and discuss the conclusions of the first large-scale FOT of active safety systems in Europe.
euroFOT’s findings will be showcased in a two-day final event. We invite you to participate in a conference and exhibition where the benefits of active safety systems will be demonstrated: this event represents a unique opportunity for you to discover the project’s technical achievements and results, as well as to experience them by getting behind the wheel of vehicles equipped with the systems tested within euroFOT. Save the date and look out for the latest updates on www.euroFOT-ip.eu.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 610453.