Assisted Driver

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Assisted Driver
General information
Type: Field operational test
Tested system/service: Autonomous Systems
Countries: The Netherlands ? test users
18 partners 20 vehicles
Active from 2005 to 2006
Presentation of Assisted Driver
Tom Alkim
The Netherlands
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In order to get a better understanding of how driving with advanced driver assistance (ADA) systems effects traffic flow in terms of safety, throughput and environment in practice a field operational test (FOT), called "the assisted driver" was conducted by the dutch road authority Rijkswaterstaat in The Netherlands. The main component of this project was the so-called full traffic FOT in which 20 cars, equipped with adaptive cruise control (ACC) and lane departure warning, were driven in mixed traffic for five months. During this period a vast amount of data was collected by installed data-loggers in order to perform an objective impact assessment. The results are quite promising. Driving with ACC and LDW improves traffic safety with approximately 8% and fuel consumption decreases with 3%. Associated emissions can decrease up to 10% and there seems to be no direct negative effect for throughput.

Key milestones of the project

  • October 14th 2004: Presentation in virtual reality
  • May 24th 2005: Demonstration day
  • September 2005 – January 2006: VANpool trial
  • February 2006 – June 2006: Full-traffic test
  • May 30th, 31st, June 1st 2006: Clinic
  • October 23rd 2006: Presentation of study results

Details of Field Operational Test

Start date and duration of FOT execution

Start: February 2006

Duration: 5 months

Geographical Coverage

The Netherlands

Link with other related Field Operational Tests


Within Roads to the Future (innovation framework), the goal is to demonstrate (a combination of) Advanced Driver Assistance systems and to do research regarding acceptance, driver behaviour and impact on traffic flow in terms of traffic safety, throughput and fuel consumption.

The subjective component of the trial answers the question whether participants personally experience a change in their driving behavior by using these systems and whether they appreciate and accept ADA systems. Objective information has also been compiled with the help of data-loggers. An analysis of this data then reveals what effect ADA systems have on individual driving behaviour and the consequences thereof for traffic flow. Consider aspects such as safety, throughput and the environment.


Assisted Driver final report

Lessons learned

- Keep it simple

- Be aware of your position and dependencies

- Aim high (initially 100 cars with ACC/LKS and finally 20 cars with ACC/LDW)

- Be flexible and creative but maintain your focus (stick to a predetermined minimum goal)

Main events

14th October 2004 - Virtual Reality – 1st public announcement about the “Assisted Driver”, presented at Roads to the Future day. Two elements: Informative video and mock up to experience ACC and LKS/LDW.

24th May 2005 - Demo day: 220 visitors, 30 vehicles, 3 RttF projects (Belonitor, Roadwise and Assisted Drivers). Functions presented were ACC, LDW/LKS, Blind spot monitoring, APIA, Collision Mitigation, Terrain Control, Vehicle to vehicle communication

23rd October 2006 - Final Event, presentation of results


Summary, type of funding and budget

Cooperation partners and contact persons

  • Public Authorities: TU Delft, TU Dresden, Dutch Directorate for Public Works and Water Management, The Netherlands Transport and Research Centre (AVV), the Construction Department (Bouwdienst) and the Corporate Department of the Directorate, TNS Nipo
  • Industry:
    • Vehicle Manufacturer: Volkswagen, Toyota Motor Europe
    • Supplier: MobilEye, Pon’s auto mobielhandel
  • Users:
  • Universities:
  • Research Institutes:
  • Others (specify): Bishop Consulting, ADAS Management Consulting, EVE& Beleveniscommunicatie, Verkeer.advies, DHV, PRC, ARS

Applications and equipment

Applications tested

2 functions were tested:

- Adaptive Cruise Control

- Lane Departure Warning (aftermarket device from MobilEye)

The Lane Departure Warning system (LDW) warns the driver when the vehicle threatens to leave the lane it is travelling in unintentionally.

The Adaptive Cruise Control system (ACC) automatically adjusts the speed of the car to that of the vehicle ahead of it.


20 vehicles (including 1 spare car for demonstrations…) - Volkswagen Passat

Leased cars

Equipment carried by test users



Test equipment


Pre-simulation / Piloting of the FOT

Method for the baseline

The first month was used for the baseline. Then 4 months of experiment were conducted.

Techniques for measurement and data collection

Collected data

Objective (logged data…): Logged data were among others : Status ACC/LDW, Road type, Status ACC/LDW, Prevailing traffic conditions, Speed, LDW warnings, applicable maximum speed, used lane, fuel consumption, ACC status and settings…

Subjective (questionnaires, focus groups…): The subjective study into the acceptance of ADA systems was carried out by TNS-Nipo (the Dutch Institute for Public Opinion and Market Research). Surveys were conducted amongst participants and within focus groups, and a number of participants spoke in-depth about their experiences with these systems. The study focuses on the following aspects: use, habituation, behaviour, appreciation and safety.

Three online surveys were carried out at the beginning of and during the trial.

In addition to the online surveys, two focus groups were organised in May and June 2006.

A selection of participants in the trial took part. The aim of these sessions was to acquire a deeper insight into their experiences with ADA systems.

In the end, five participants participated in this focus group. The second session comprised four in-depth interviews conducted by phone on June 2006.

Now that the project has finished, the Dutch Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management will make this data available for relevant research, in principle. Contact person is Tom Alkim.

Recruitment goals and methods

19 drivers (16 men and 3 women)

The participants in the trial were selected by Pon’s Autolease. Customers who wanted to drive a Passat were asked to participate in the project. In exchange, ACC and LDW were installed in the cars for free.

The group that participated in the full-traffic trial (sixteen men and three women) are lease drivers. Every year, they drive between 25,000 and 75,000 km and are mostly very interested in technical devices for cars. We can therefore assume that they use ADA systems more intensively than average drivers, which means they become more quickly accustomed to this type of technology.

Methods for the liaison with the drivers during the FOT execution

Methods for data analysis, evaluation, synthesis and conclusions

Sources of information

Assisted Driver final report