Perceived safety benefits of aftermarket driver support systems: Results from a large scale European field operational test (FOT)
A field operational test (FOT) is a technique used within traffic safety to evaluate the overall value of in-vehicle information systems (IVISs) under normal operating conditions. In this study, a pan-European FOT was used to evaluate Navigation, Speed Information/Alert, Traffic Information, and Green Driving Support functions together with participants’ perceptions of safety’ before, during, and after using the functions. Through utilization and adherence to the FOT methodology, data were collected over a period ranging from 8 to 16 months in five European countries in order to assess the driver pre-conceived ideas and subsequent subjective and objective experiences with the IVIS functions. Several analyses of data were conducted, and this paper describes the results relating to the ‘user-experience’ as evaluated through subjective responses. The study showed that before the FOTs started, overall participants expected a higher safety benefit through using Speed Alert compared to the other functions. This function was also perceived to offer the highest safety benefit after the FOT had been completed. Perceptions of safety were found to be lowest for the green-driving function. The results offer insights into public expectations of IVIS functions and how these change with experience and overall; they suggest that, in some cases, the perception to safety benefits could be somewhat misplaced.
This research was funded by the European Commission under Framework Program FP7 of Information and Communication Technologies FP7-ICT-2007-2.