Is the data from the different FOTs comparable?

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As conducting a FOT is expensive, especially the collection of data, it would be useful if we could compare the data from different FOTs. In this way we could learn from experiences from other FOTs and get a better insight in drivers’ behaviour with all kinds of new systems.

Data are collected in many different ways, with different techniques, formats and frequencies, so raw data are often not directly comparable. However, this is a technical problem that can partly be solved by transforming data to standard formats and using analysis techniques that enable comparisons.

A more challenging problem is that data may have been collected in different contexts and environments, with different driver groups and with different systems. This makes it hard to compare the outcomes of one FOT directly with those of another FOT.

Questions of data ownership and protection of privacy of the participants may also complicate the use of data in other projects. In FOT-Net, a working group is addressing the issue of data sharing, so we are looking forward to getting more answers to this difficult question. If you are interested in this working group, please let us know.