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General information
Type: Naturalistic driving study
Tested system/service:
Countries: Austria, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain, UK 320 test users
19 partners 210 vehicles
Active from 10/2012 to 2016
Nicole van Nes
The Netherlands
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UDRIVE is the first large-scale European Naturalistic Driving Study on cars, trucks and powered-two wheelers. The acronym stands for “eUropean naturalistic Driving and Riding for Infrastructure & Vehicle safety and Environment”.

Road transport is indispensable for the exchange of goods and persons. However, at the same time it has severe negative consequences, among others related to road safety and the environment. In order to meet EU targets, both the number of road crashes and vehicle emission levels need to be reduced substantially. Therefore, with the aim of identifying the next generation of measures that will enable us to actually reach these targets, a far more in-depth understanding of road user behaviour is needed.

The UDRIVE project builds on the experiences of the PROLOGUE feasibility study and various Field Operational Tests (FOTs), and aims to contribute to developing this in-depth knowledge by conducting the first large-scale European Naturalistic Driving (ND) study.

Over a period of two years, UDRIVE will collect naturalistic (meaning that the behaviour of road users is observed unobtrusively in a natural setting) data on passenger cars, trucks, and powered two-wheelers. All data - including video data showing the forward view of the vehicle and a view of the driver, as well as geographic information system (GIS) data - will be collected continuously to bring knowledge in the various research areas well beyond the current state-of-the-art.

European project funded by the EC DG RTD under the FP7.

Details of Field Operational Test

Start date and duration of FOT execution

Equipped vehicles driving from July 2015 to April 2017 (21 months)

Geographical Coverage

There are seven Operation Sites (OS):

  • Austria
  • France
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom

Link with other related Field Operational Tests

The UDRIVE project builds on the experiences of the PROLOGUE feasibility study and various Field Operational Tests (FOTs), and aims to contribute to developing this in-depth knowledge by conducting the first large-scale European Naturalistic Driving (ND) study. UDRIVE uses the FESTA methodology for Naturalistic Driving Studies.


UDRIVE will increase our understanding of road user behaviour. Its objectives are two-fold: to identify well-founded and tailored measures to improve road safety up to the Horizon 2020 and beyond, and to identify approaches for reducing harmful emissions and fuel consumption in order to make road traffic more sustainable.

From a scientific and technical point of view, UDRIVE aims at:

  • Describing and quantifying road user behaviour in different European regions, in regular conditions and (near-)crashes, and provide a quantified estimate of the risk of particular safety-critical behaviours, focussing especially on
    • the prevalence and effects of driver/rider states, such as distraction and inattention
    • interactions between drivers/riders and high risk groups like pedestrians and cyclists
  • Describing and quantifying road user behaviour in relation to emission levels and fuel consumption, focussing in particular on
    • the effects of driving style
    • road and road network characteristics
    • traffic conditions such as congestion, impaired visibility or adverse weather
  • Identifying new approaches, measures and tools to make the traffic system safer and more sustainable, focussing especially on
    • the definition of measurable safety and environmental performance indicators for monitoring developments over time
    • improving existing models of driver behaviour to be used for e.g. predicting effect of safety and environmental measures, and traffic flow simulations
    • applications in commercial transport, including driver support systems and targeted training for safer and more fuel efficient driving


UDRIVE expects to collect 21 months of NDS data representing up to 3 000 000 km and 75 TB of data. It is expected that more than 300 Safety Critical Events and 1 500 baseline epochs will be documented.

Lessons learned

Main events


Summary, type of funding and budget


The overall budget of UDRIVE is € 10.617 mio.


€ 8 mio. of the UDRIVE project are funded by the European Commission.

Cooperation partners and contact persons

  • Public Authorities:
  • Industry
    • Vehicle Manufacturer:
    • Supplier:
  • Users:
  • Universities:
  • Research Institutes:
  • Others (specify):

Applications and equipment

Applications tested

  • Crash causation and risk
  • Everyday driving
  • Distraction and inattention
  • Pedestrians and cyclists
  • Motorcycle behaviour
  • Eco-driving


  • 120 Renault Clio and Megane
  • 40 Piaggio Liberty
  • 50 VOLVO Trucks

Equipment carried by test users

Only driver and driving naturalistic observations


Test equipment

Data Acquisition System provided by SECTRONIC based on 8 video channels, MobileEye front-facing sensor, GPS, 3D accelerometers, and microphone.


Pre-simulation / Piloting of the FOT

Method for the baseline

1500 baseline epochs will be analysed.

Techniques for measurement and data collection

Availability of data

After it is concluded the UDRIVE project will offer access (within the bounds of legal and ethical restrictions) to the collected data so that it can be consulted and used for subsequent analyses by road safety and environmental experts from all over the world. This will enable the exploitation of the data beyond the scope of the UDRIVE project.

Recruitment goals and methods

Methods for the liaison with the drivers during the FOT execution

Operation Site leaders are in charge of the liaison with the drivers. They are picking up hard drives, monitor the health of the DAS and are accessible for any further questions in local language.

Methods for data analysis, evaluation, synthesis and conclusions

The work plan of UDRIVE roughly follows the steps of the FESTA-V approach:

  • Study Design
  • Data Management
  • Data Collection
  • Data Analysis
  • Impact

Each of these five steps will be executed in a sub-project (SP) with strong interrelationships, both vertically and horizontally. On top there is an additional SP that deals with Management and Dissemination, i.e. the overall project coordination, the scientific quality of the project and the dissemination activities.

The UDRIVE methodology.

SP1: Study design

Within its three work packages (WPs) SP1 will develop and define the overall design of the ND study and make the required legal and ethical arrangements.

This includes:

  • Definition of main research questions and related driving performance indicators.
  • Development of preliminary analysis plan
  • Definition of functional requirements for the Data Acquisition System (DAS).
  • Definition of procedures for data collection in terms of a study plan.
  • Establishment of procedures for complying with relevant legal regulations.

SP1 activities take place in the first year of UDRIVE. Its general workflow and its relations to the other SPs look as follows:

The UDRIVE workflow.

SP2: Data management

SP2 provides all the tools for collecting data in the field, pre-processing them, uploading the data to storage and database, maintaining them and providing them to the analysts while keeping them consistent at the same time. SP2 runs throughout the lifetime of UDRIVE and consists of five work packages:

UDRIVE Work Packages.

SP3 Data collection A central task in UDRIVE is the collection of the actual data in SP3. Data collection will take place in seven EU Member States:

UDRIVE comprises seven Operation Sites.

The choice of operation sites (OS) was motivated by aiming at a having good spread over countries with different characteristics in terms of road safety records, road user behaviour, road infrastructure characteristics, the presence of vulnerable road users, climate, traffic density, etc.

In UDRIVE an extended data acquisition system (DAS) will be used with continuous data recording including geographic information system (GIS) data and at least two video cameras, one with forward view, the other with a view of the driver.

SP4 Data analysis

UDRIVE will gather a huge amount of data on everyday driving and riding. However, given the limits in time and budget, it is impossible to fully exploit the data within the scope of the project. Hence, data analysis within SP4 will focus on a limited number of specific areas, based on the research questions as defined in SP1. These areas are:

  • crash causation, crash risk and normal driving
  • distraction and inattention
  • vulnerable road users
  • driving styles related to eco-driving

The structure of SP4 and its relationship with the other UDRIVE SPs is the following:

UDRIVE SP4 structure.

The aim is to make the data accessible for additional analyses, once the project is finished; not only to the partner institutes of UDRIVE, but also to other parties, obviously within legal and ethical limitations.

The analyses in SP4 will be prepared and tested based on a partial data set as provided by SP3. The final analyses will be performed in year 4.

SP5: impact

SP5 focuses on the impact of the results by implementing them in some very specific areas. More specifically, SP5 aims at:

  • providing recommendations for safety and sustainability measures related to regulation, enforcement, driver awareness, driver training, and road design
  • assessing the options for and usefulness of low tech data acquisition equipment for monitoring performance indicators and effects of policy measures
  • improving driver behaviour models and risk functions which can be used for traffic simulations
  • demonstrating how ND data can be used for commercial purposes, including safety and sustainability applications, behaviour-based programmes and business models for future data collection

SP5 will start during the SP4 activities using interim analysis results. The activities will be finalised only using the final results.

SP6: Project Management and dissemination

SP6 deals with

  • overall project management, including the financial and administrative administration, contacts with the EC, and monitoring progress
  • scientific quality as well as technical consistency within and between SPs and WPs
  • dissemination of the project’s intermediate and final results and stakeholder involvement

Sources of information

Project website: [1] Papers:

  • Eenink, R., Barnard, Y., Baumann, M., Augros, X., & Utesch, F. (2014). UDRIVE: the European naturalistic driving study. Proceedings of the TRA [2]
  • Twisk, D. A. M., Van Nes, N., & Haupt, J. (2012, December). Understanding safety critical interactions between bicycles and motor vehicles in Europe by means of Naturalistic Driving techniques. In Proceedings of the first international cycling safety conference, Helmond, The Netherlands. [3]
  • Pierre, G. S. (2014). Advances in UDrive, the First Pure European Naturalistic Driving Study, Compared to Previous European FOT. Chicago [4]