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
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