Published June 27, 2012
By Philippe Crowe
The final report from the EuroFOT research project, which has brought together 28 European companies and organizations, confirms that systems to help drivers avoid incidents and collisions deliver significant benefits.
According to the study, a car with adaptive cruise control and collision warning, for instance, cuts the risk of colliding with the vehicle in front on a motorway by up to 42 percent.
The large-scale European Field Operational Test on Active Safety Systems EuroFOT is a research project supported by European funds. It involves 28 organizations, including Swedish participants Volvo Car Corporation, Volvo Trucks and Chalmers University of Technology. Other automotive manufacturers involved were Audi Volkswagen AG, BMW, Daimler AG and Ford.
The project, which began in June 2008, was led by Aria Etemad from Ford’s European Research Centre in Aachen, Germany.
One hundred Volvo V70 and XC70 models with a total of 263 drivers participated in EuroFOT. All cars were fitted with cameras and sensors that registered every second of every journey for 18 months, which meant that every little incident and situation could be studied and evaluated.
These cars supplied Volvo Car Corporation's safety experts with 30 terrabytes of data from 3 million kilometers (1,864,113 miles) of driving. The final report from EuroFOT also includes material from other vehicle manufacturers.
The final report from EuroFOT clearly shows that adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning enhance traffic safety. The benefits are greatest on the motorway, where the risk of driving into the vehicle in front is cut by up to 42 percent.
Adaptive Cruise Control is used on the motorway for more than 51 percent of the total distance covered - which confirms that the system is appreciated by drivers. 80 percent of them feel that progress on the road is more comfortable and convenient, and a massive 94 percent feel safer with the system activated.
When it comes to collision warning, 70 percent of the drivers feel that it improves the level of safety.
“Thanks to the warning system, a couple of times I managed to avoid being involved in an accident when the vehicles in front suddenly slammed on their brakes,” said one participant in the study echoing a sentiment heard by others.
As regards the other warning systems, which focus on tired drivers, lane keeping and vehicles in the blind spot, the trend is also positive. However, there is not yet enough data to provide statistically significant forecasts of the accident risk reduction.
The EuroFOT participants also confirmed that the Driver Alert Control actually works.