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General information
Type: Field operational test
Tested system/service: Autonomous Systems
Countries: USA ? test users
4 partners 270 vehicles
Active from 10/2009 to 08/2013
Presentation at 17th ITS World Congress
Shane McLaughlin
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Of the people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2008 in the USA, 11percent (4,229) died in crashes that involved a large truck. Another 90,000 people were injured in crashes involving large trucks. About16 percent of those killed and 26 percent of those injured in large truck these crashes were occupants of large trucks.In direct support of FMCSA’s mission to reduce the number and severity of large truck crashes, the FMCSA's Research Division is sponsoring a 270-truck on-board monitoring system (OBMS) field operational test (FOT).The primary objective of this safety research program is to determine whether on-board monitoring will reduce at-risk behavior among commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers and improve driver safety performance. As its secondary objective, the OBMS FOT will serve as the largest, continuous naturalistic driving data collection effort ever undertaken. It is anticipated that approximately 35 million miles of naturalistic large truck driving data will be collected to support future CMV safety research efforts.

Details of Field Operational Test

Start date and duration of FOT execution

Full system deployment on all trucks and subsequent data collection is expected to commence by June 2011 and last 18 months.

Geographical Coverage

Link with other related Field Operational Tests



High Level Research Questions:

  • Does on-board monitoring reduce at-risk behavior and improve driver safety performance?
  • Does recording and reporting of safety-critical events, along with feedback, enhance safe driving behavior?


Lessons learned

Main events


Summary, type of funding and budget

Sponsor: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Cooperation partners and contact persons

Applications and equipment

Applications tested

The OBMS technology suite offers two approaches to improving driving safety. First, immediate, real time feedback is presented to the driver when a crash is imminent or when unsafe behaviors are detected. Second, recorded data are transferred to a management information system where analyses are conducted and results are compiled for the company,division, and individual driver to support meaningful and consistent coaching processes.

The commercial OBMS being utilized for this FOT integrates several safety technologies and applications together into a single system. These safety technologies include:

  • Lane/Roadway departure warning.
  • Forward collision warning.
  • Driver behavior monitoring:
    • Monitoring and recording safety events identified by extreme maneuvers.
    • Driver inattention events.
    • Hard braking/steering.
    • Lane changes/lane position.
    • Fuel economy/engine overspeed/idling/coasting events.
    • Route monitoring.
  • Fatigue/inattention monitoring.
  • Electronic on-board recorder (EOBR).
  • Continuous naturalistic data collection.


Three CMV fleets will par-ticipate in the study. Across these fleets, the system will be installed and operated on 270 trucks for a period of approximately 18 months.

Equipment carried by test users


Test equipment


Pre-simulation / Piloting of the FOT

Method for the baseline

  • 90% of participants will experience:
    • 2 months with no feedback,
    • 14 months of feedback,
    • 2 months without feedback (withdrawal)
  • 10% of participants will drive 18 months without feedback (baseline)

Techniques for measurement and data collection

Recruitment goals and methods

Up to 500 truck drivers.

Methods for the liaison with the drivers during the FOT execution

Methods for data analysis, evaluation, synthesis and conclusions

Utilizing quantitative and qualitative data collected from the OBMS system and participating drivers over the 18-month period, researchers will seek to answer the following questions:

  • Does individual driving performance improve overtime with OBMS feedback?
  • Does the OBMS program of immediate feedback combined with management feedback improve safety?
  • Can the OBMS accurately distinguish “good”(safe) drivers from “at-risk” (unsafe) drivers?
  • If driving performance improves, does it remain improved over time?
  • How do drivers’ attitudes towards the OBMS system and program change over time?
  • What are fleet safety managers’ attitudes about the OBMS system?
  • What is the business case for implementing an OBMS program?

Sources of information

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

FMCSA Office of Analysis, Research and Technology, INSIGHTS - Summer 2010