“Intelligent vehicles” to be tested on European roads

The automotive industry has joined forces with various universities, research centres and other stakeholders, in a smart drive to test eight different high-tech intelligent in-vehicle technologies on real roads, with real drivers.

In the context of euroFOT, a European-wide research project, 28 organisations have committed to scientifically test and assess the impact of eight advanced driver assistance systems on safety, efficiency and driver comfort. This collaborative research project is supported by European funds from the DG Information Society and Media.

Both lateral and longitudinal control systems will be tested: systems that give warnings to the driver on potential side- and front-end collisions. Also, other advanced in-vehicle systems such as Curve Speed Warning, Fuel Efficiency Adviser and the Human machine interaction with navigation systems will be tested.

Beginning in 2010, no less than 1000 vehicles from various European vehicle brands equipped with various intelligent in-vehicle systems will drive around Europe for approximately one year. These intelligent vehicles will collect data that should deliver answers with regards to the impacts that these systems have on safety, efficiency and driver comfort.

Speaking at the ITS World Congress for Intelligent Transport Systems, Aria Etemad, Project coordinator of euroFOT from Ford, said “This is the first-of-its-kind- large-scale field operational test that is carried out across brands in Europe.”

Maxime Flament from ERTICO – ITS Europe, responsible for the coordination of the various vehicle centres said: “Car dealers and fleet owners across Europe are currently recruiting the drivers that will take part in this experiment. At the same time, the vehicle operation centres are getting ready to prepare each vehicle for a 1-year long advanced data collection.”

The euroFOT project is expected to raise awareness and provide indications based on scientific data about real benefits of these existing intelligent in-vehicle systems. The results of the field test will also contribute to better and informed decision making.

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