100-Motorcyclist Naturalistic study

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100-Motorcyclist Naturalistic study
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General information
Type: Naturalistic driving study
Tested system/service:
Countries: USA ? test users
2 partners 100 vehicles
Active from 2011 to 2012
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?URIs of the form "?" are not allowed.
Motorcycle Safety Foundation
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The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) and its members are partnering with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) on what is likely the world’s first large-scale, naturalistic motorcycle riding study: The MSF Naturalistic Study of Motorcyclists. Using small video recorders and instrumentation mounted on numerous bikes for 6-18 months, the study will combine unobtrusive, continuous data collection with post-incident interviews to create a comprehensive picture of many factors contributing to both crashes and near-crashes.

A departure from traditional crash-causation research, the naturalistic method and technology developed by VTTI was successfully used in a 100-car study in 2005 that included 69 crashes and more than 750 near-crashes. The method is presently in use by researchers across the globe to target nearly every type of roadway user, with the exception of two-wheeled vehicles. This study, expected to be on the road by early 2011, will greatly advance the understanding of interactions among rider, motorcycle, roadway, other roadway users and the environment.

Details of Field Operational Test

Start date and duration of FOT execution

Geographical Coverage

California, Florida, Virginia

Link with other related Field Operational Tests

100-Car naturalistic driving study


Selected Research Areas of Interest:

  • Normal riding performance envelope
  • Riding experience
  • Exposure to learning opportunities
  • Effective defensive strategies
  • Visual scan
  • Frequency of critical conditions and events
  • Types of events and frequency
  • Sequence of events
  • Actions of other vehicles
  • Time available for response
  • Successful and unsuccessful maneuvers


Lessons learned

Main events


Summary, type of funding and budget

Initial Motorcycle Safety Foundation funding will exceed $1.25 million.

Cooperation partners and contact persons

Applications and equipment

Applications tested


Bike types included in the study:

  • Cruiser
  • Sport
  • Touring

Equipment carried by test users


Test equipment

  • Textbook size, highly capable DAS
  • Four main components
    • “Main unit” typically mounted similar to top-case or saddle bag
    • “IMU” with accelerometers, gyroscopes, and GPS
    • Radar unit mounted on fork or under dash panel
    • Distributed Cameras


Pre-simulation / Piloting of the FOT

Method for the baseline

Techniques for measurement and data collection

Collected data:

  • ~Key-on to key-off for 8 mo +
  • 1Hz to 640 Hz
  • Range and closure speed to forward objects
  • Acceleration in three axes
  • Roll, pitch, and yaw rates
  • Geospatial position
  • Wheel speed
  • Lane position
  • Brake status (on/off)
  • Turn signals
  • Five camera views

Recruitment goals and methods

Methods for the liaison with the drivers during the FOT execution

Methods for data analysis, evaluation, synthesis and conclusions

Sources of information

Press Release from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation announcing the study.

On-going Naturalistic Driving Studies and FOT and Utility in ADAS Development, Shane McLaughlin, VTTI, 17th ITS World Congress, Busan , Korea