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EU support for sharing field operational test data



The European Commission has granted funding for the FOT-Net Data project, whose main aim is to make traffic data collected in field operational tests (FOTs) more widely available to researchers. The three-year project will start in January 2014.

Since 2008, the EU has supported a number of projects enabling testing of latest vehicle information technology in large-scale field trials. Thousands of drivers have been able to test the most promising prototypes or products just entering the markets. The drivers have been testing systems such as the adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, navigators and most recently, warning systems based on short-range wireless communication between vehicles. The communication can provide information for example on nearby car accidents or approaching emergency vehicles. Field test projects have evaluated the impact of these technologies and also contributed to their introduction. Drivers' behaviour whilst using the systems has been monitored for continuous periods of up to more than a year, collecting valuable information from traffic.

The Commission recognises the importance of making the collected data more widely available to researchers. Although the data has already been analysed in the projects that collected it, there is much potential for reusing it in new studies that focus on different research questions.

The Commission's support for the project is EUR 1.4 million of the total budget of EUR 1.8 million. The rest is financed by project partners: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, as the coordinator, and the network of intelligent transport systems stakeholders ERTICO – ITS Europe, Chalmers University of Technology from Sweden, RWTH Aachen University from Germany, the Spanish R&D centre CTAG, University of Leeds from the UK, the French road safety research organization CEESAR and the German automotive company Daimler.

The new project FOT-Net data is a continuation of FOT-Net's activities. Since 2008 FOT-Net has brought together international FOT players, organised seminars in addition to maintaining a handbook of best practices for carrying out trials. Setting up large-scale user trials is very detailed and sharing information of methods used in the past can save months of preparation work. So far 17 research organisations and companies have joined the network as associated partners, including several from outside Europe.