Intelligent transport services mean safer mobility

 

VTT has led a team of research scientists in a European collaborative project to assess the impacts on driver behaviour of support functions provided by smartphones, navigators and other in-vehicle aftermarket and nomadic devices. Intelligent transport systems allowed drivers to find quicker and less congested routes and to avoid accidental speeding. Fuel costs also dropped.

With a budget of EUR 15 million, the four-year TeleFOT project is coordinated by VTT and numbers among the biggest traffic ICT projects in Europe. The operational field trials produced a unique set of data on which to base research into the impact of the services on driver opinion and behaviour, and consequently on mobility, traffic flow, safety and the environment.

Many intelligent transport services provided by nomadic devices are already part of the daily lives of road users, but information about their actual impact, for example on road safety, has been unavailable until now.

The study was based on extensive field trials, with almost 3,000 drivers covering a combined distance of more than 10 million kilometres in eight European countries. The test drivers were recruited from Finland (360), Sweden, Germany, the UK, France, Greece, Italy and Spain.

The services tested included Static and Dynamic Navigation Support, Green Driving Support, Speed Limit Information and Traffic Information. Efficiency increased most through the use of navigators and traffic information systems that allowed drivers to find quicker and less congested routes. Green driving systems encouraged a more economical driving style and suggested routes that resulted in lower emissions.

At the Finnish test site, the use of a green driving system in bus transport helped to lower fuel consumption and to reduce speeding – another factor improving road safety. A further significant finding is that the systems reduced driving-related stress and anxiety right across the board, and in all the participating countries increased the drivers’ sense of safety and driving comfort. From the mobility perspective, the results were positive for all systems.

The European Commission gave recognition to the VTT-coordinated project by presenting an iMobility Award to VTT Senior Scientist Petri Mononen for exceptional work in accelerating the deployment of intelligent transport services

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