Driver Behaviour Monitoring through Naturalistic Driving

Accident and safety data has been shown to be highly informative about the issues preceding crashes and the circumstances of the event, nevertheless there is still a substantial gap in knowledge concerning the driving decisions and actions in normal situations and those that result in a traffic collision.
Recent technological developments allow us to carry out the innovative observation methodology of Naturalistic Driving. Naturalistic Driving involves the unobtrusive collection of driver behaviour and vehicle data. It provides a high reliability and a high level of detail of the driver behaviour in the pre-crash phase and is thus very useful as a complement to traditional accidentology approaches, such as accident data base analysis and travel surveys. In addition, it provides important information on successful avoidance behaviour in near-miss situations and it offers opportunities to quantify mobility (exposure to risk). Data from Naturalistic Driving observation therefore have a great potential for policy support.
DaCoTA-wp6 will develop and validate a common methodology to record and analyse the behavioural and exposure data and to propose an implementation plan to setting up naturalistic driving observations through Europe.

Six partners from Austria, Belgium France, Israel, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom will cooperate in this work package.

This Work Package aims to develop an implementation plan (methodology, technology, feasibility) for continuous monitoring of relevant road safety data within the framework of the European Road Safety Observatory (ERSO) by Naturalistic Driving observations.

Many EU countries collect road safety data, though methods of data gathering still lack uniformity. This method greatly expands the possibilities of collecting and harmonizing data in real traffic. It offers opportunities for better and more efficient data collection compared to traditional ways, such as interviews, surveys, field experiments with small sample sizes, et cetera. Moreover, it allows for better comparability of data between countries.

Advances expected
Already some European research teams and few European projects started to use this innovative experimental approach of Naturalistic Driving. Compared to other initiatives, the unique objective of DaCoTA-wp6 is:

  • continuous data gathering;
  • large scale: all European countries, representative for a country and comparable (harmonized) between countries;
  • focus on Safety Performance Indicators (SPIs), near misses and Risk Exposure Data (RED).

The WP will build on knowledge and experiences from other Naturalistic Driving studies, such as SHRP2 (USA) and PROLOGUE (EU). A 'Liaison Officer' between DaCoTA and Prologue is appointed. A combined workshop was organized and information will be exchanged during the project and mutual meetings.

Expected outcomes
This work package will result into an implementation plan how Naturalistic Driving could be used for large scale data gathering within ERSO. The implementation plan describes how and which data could be gathered by Naturalistic Driving observation additional to or instead of other data gathering methods, based on a comparison of feasibility, reliability and cost efficiency of the different methods available.