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General information
Type: Naturalistic driving study
Tested system/service:
Countries: Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, UK, Australia ? test users
12 partners ? vehicles
Active from 11/2008 to 2012
Corinne Brusque
Bron, France.
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Understanding driver interactions with In-Vehicle Technologies is the main objective of INTERACTION project, which started in November 2008 for 42 months and gathers 10 European partners from 8 countries and 2 Australian institutes. This project is funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme (FP7).

Amongst all the available In-Vehicle Technologies, INTERACTION focus on a limited set of mature technologies, already available on a wide range of car models and already adopted by most of the European car drivers, such as communication or navigation systems, speed control or distance control systems (More information on the system selection in the Results section)

For this selected set of In-Vehicle Technologies (IVT), INTERACTION aims to tackle the following questions:

  • Why, when, where and how drivers use IVT?
  • What are the patterns of IVT use in everyday driving?
  • What are the individual factors that explain or not the adoption of IVT by drivers?
  • What are the differences or similarities between countries and their reasons?
  • What are the actual supports to the driving task given by the systems?Are there involuntary or voluntary misuses of systems?
  • Can these systems induce unexpected unsafe behaviour and skills?

European project funded by the EC under the FP7.


Details of Field Operational Test

Start date and duration of FOT execution

Geographical Coverage

Link with other related Field Operational Tests


The objectives of INTERACTION project are:

  • to gain a better understanding of driver interactions with In-Vehicle Technologies
  • to focus on mature technologies already available on the market and adopted by European car drivers
  • to identify patterns of use of these systems by European drivers in everyday life
  • to analyse their effects on driver’s behaviour and skills, in normal and emergency situations
  • to highlight individual and cross-country differences

The target impacts are:

  • the reduction of the risks of systems misuses
  • the reduction of the risks of drivers’ unsafe actions
  • the increase of the global benefits of in vehicle technology in enhancing road safety

Two main operational outcomes will be issued from the knowledge acquired during the project in order to reach this target:

  • On the one hand, the knowledge will permit to define actions to strengthen drivers’ awareness for the use of these technologies and for the consequences that such use has or may have.
  • On the other hand, the knowledge will permit to edit recommendations for the design of future systems and of appropriate instructions for drivers that will use them to favour a safe use of In-Vehicle Technologies by European drivers

To achieve these objectives, a comprehensive research framework was developed. A specific work programme was also developed to support this research framework.


This is the list of deliverables that will be produced in the lifetime of INTERACTION project :

  • D1 Inventory of In-Vehicle Technologies Uses and Misuses self-reported by Drivers (Nov. 2009)
  • D2 Individual and cross-cultural differences on use of In-Vehicle Technologies (Apr. 2010)
  • D3 Behaviour observation platform (Apr. 2010)
  • D4 Complete methodology for behaviour observation of In-Vehicle Technologies use (Apr. 2010)
  • D5 Patterns of In-Vehicle Technologies use in Europe and cross-cultural differences (M36)
  • D6 Impact of In-Vehicle Technologies use on drivers’ behaviour and individual differences (M36)
  • D7 Booklet on guidelines (Oct. 2012)
  • D8 Final workshop and its proceedings (Oct. 2012)
  • D9 Framework for Laboratory log (Jan. 2009)
  • D10 - D11 Periodic Reports: reports on progress of the project drafted according to Commission’s specifications (Dec. 2010 and Sep. 2011)
  • D12 Final Report including the final plan for the use and dissemination of foreground (Nov. 2012)

This research focus on mature In-Vehicle Technologies that are already available on the market and adopted by European car drivers. To achieve the research objectives, a comprehensive research framework and a specific work programme were developed.

Lessons learned

Main events

2008.11.27 INTERACTION Kick-off

2009.04.27 WP1 - WP3 joint Workshop


Summary, type of funding and budget


The overall budget of INTERACTION is 3.58 million Euro.


2.5 million euros of the INTERACTION project are funded by the European Commission.

Cooperation partners and contact persons

Applications and equipment

Applications tested

The first objective of INTERACTION project is to identify the most relevant technologies to investigate according to:

  • their availability in the 9 countries taking part in the project and on the European market
  • their associated stakes in terms of Human / Machine Interaction issues
  • their associated Stakes in terms of road safety
  • the technical feasibility for each methodological approach


The process retained for the in-vehicle function selection is a seven steps process:

  • Definition of the relevant criteria to select in-vehicle functions
  • Identification of the major makes of cars in Europe in terms of sales
  • Definition of a typology of available In-vehicle functions in the European Market
  • Checking of the availability of the functions according to the makes and the car categories
  • Distribution of makes and car categories amongst the sales of new cars in 2007, in the participant countries
  • If necessary, checking of the availability of the functions as aftermarket devices or nomadic devices, according to their respective market shares in the participant countries
  • Selection of the most relevant functions according to INTERACTION criteria of selection


According to this methodological process, the most relevant technologies to investigate during INTERACTION project lifetime are:

  • Longitudinal control systems (Cruise Control, Speed Limiter)
  • Trip information systems ( Navigation system, as nomadic device)
  • Infotainment systems (Cell phone, as nomadic device)


Equipment carried by test users


Test equipment


Pre-simulation / Piloting of the FOT

Method for the baseline

Techniques for measurement and data collection

To achieve INTERACTION objectives, a comprehensive research framework to investigate In-Vehicle Technologies use has been developed. This framework is based on an innovative combination of well established research methodologies: focus groups, questionnaire survey, naturalistic observations, and in-depth observations.

The purpose of this combined approach is to gather self-reported and observed driver behaviour data and qualitative and quantitative analysis. Differences and similarities of drivers regarding human interaction with In-Vehicle Technologies will be investigated both at the individual and country level.

Each research methodology will contribute to a better understanding of driver interactions with In-Vehicle Technologies.

Focus groups

A set of focus groups to understand and highlight:

  • the conditions of use of IVT by drivers,
  • their eventual misuses,
  • the difficulties or critical situations potentially met,
  • some individual differences in terms of technologies appropriation.

Questionnaire survey

A questionnaire survey with a representative sample of the European driver population:

  • to identify the population of drivers that own and use IVT in a regular or an irregular way
  • to study the individual and cross-country differences in terms of their adoption and use.

Naturalistic driving study

An instrumented naturalistic driving study:

  • to observe a sample of drivers at the wheel of their own vehicle
  • to identify their patterns of IVT use in everyday life and their implication for safety.

Experimental observation

An in-depth analysis:

  • by on-board observers of drivers’ behaviour during their interaction with IVT
  • to analyse the potential changes in driver’s skills and behaviours in critical situations and in interactions with other road users.

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


Project website: