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Naturalistic Driving Naturalistic Observation

4th CEE Round Table 3-4 October 2011, Budapest Veronika Zuser, KFV

What is Naturalistic Driving?

Under the naturalistic driving (ND) approach, the behaviour of road users is observed unobtrusively in a natural setting for a long period of time. By installing data acquisition systems (e.g. data logger, cameras) within the vehicle or site-based, driver and driving performance can be observed within their natural surrounding.


ND system


ND in Road Safety work

Road Safety work / Accident investigation

based on: statistical data

based on: planning, expertise, road user behaviour
Road Safety Impact Assessment Road Safety Audit / Inspection Naturalistic Observation Site-Based-Observation ND / NR

Accident data management Black Spot Management Network Safety Management In-Depth studies


State of the Art ND - EU

PROLOGUE (2009-2011)
PROmoting real Life Observations for Gaining Understanding of road user behaviour in Europe Feasibility study for a large scale European naturalistic
observational study Website: ND pilots in AT, NL, GR, ES, IL 9 partners from 7 countries


Added value of Naturalistic Observation

Traditional research: instrumented cars, simulators, police records, in-depth, interviews:
No natural environment No direct, systematic observation of a conflict, near miss or crash

Issues for naturalistic observation:

the effect of road design characteristics, or weather conditions on the interaction between driver and vehicle; driving style comparison of specific road user groups, e.g. novice drivers; the identification of crash contributing factors; the prevalence of mobile phone or other in-car information devices and the relationship with particular behaviour patterns or crashes; the effect of particular interventions, e.g. eco-driving; the interaction between motorised vehicles and vulnerable road users;

Purposes of Naturalistic Observation

Two different strategies
1. Large database for subsequent analyses of post-hoc research questions - implicit assumptions about research topics 2. Study focusing on a limited number predefined research questions

Choice of strategy has implications for study design Strategy 1 random sampling to obtain representativity Strategy 2 targeted sampling guided by research hypotheses Combining 1 and 2 is recommended
Stratified sample: Large random sample of general driver population Over-sampling of specific driver/vehicle categories, regions, etc., based on research questions

Phases in large-scale ND study: FESTA V modified

User/stakeholder involvement

The ND Chain


Topics selection

Socio-economic impact assessment

Implementation plan

Research questions and hypotheses

Research questions and hypotheses analysis

Performance indicators

Study/ design

Ethical and legal issues

Data analysis

Database Measures and sensors

Measures Performance indicators

Data acquisition and decoding


State of the Art ND USA

100 car ND study (VTTI) (2003/2004)

- 100 participants, 3.2 m vehicle-km, 43,000 hours of

data gathered - findings: distraction/inattentiveness = cause of 80% of all analysed crashes and near crashes

SHRP 2 (TRB) (2011-2014) US Strategic Highway Research Program

- large scale ND - 3,100 participants, 12-24 months in 6 regions in the US

State of the Art ND - KFV

DrivEkustik (2011-2013)
Driver behaviour in and acoustic perception of e-cars

- Compare driving behaviour of users of e-cars and cars

with combustion engine with ND (3 ND equipped cars, ca. 6 months) - Interaction VRUs e-cars in comparison to cars with combustion engine analysis of potential conflict situations - Measure perceptibility of different kinds of e-vehicles - Develop recommendations for the safe integration of e-vehicles in traffic systems


State of the Art ND - KFV

DrivEkustik Data acquisition system: p-drive



State of the Art ND - KFV

Site-based observation Vienna (2010- 2011)
Video observation of a pedestrian crossing in Vienna

- Purpose of project
- Analysis of driving behaviour at pedestrian crossing
(e.g. speed, willingness to stop,) - Collection of scenarios for exposure of persons on pedestrian crossing - Analysis of critical situations and assessment of interactions between drivers and pedestrians to identify dangerous situations for future enforcement



State of the Art ND - KFV

Site-based observation Vienna Data acquisition system: video cameras



State of the Art ND - KFV

100 car study Austria (2011- 2013) - 100 ND equipped cars, 12 months - Urban and rural, mountainous and plain regions in
Austria - Focus of project - road user behaviour of novice and elderly drivers - road user behaviour in normal conditions, near miss accidents
and crashes - information about underreported accident causes as distraction, inattention and fatigue



Naturalistic Driving Naturalistic Observation

Veronika Zuser