16th World Congress Draft Paper
A SUBJECTIVE FIELD TEST ON LANE DEPARTURE
WARNING FUNCTION IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE
Gianfranco Burzio1*, Giacomo Mussino2, Roberto Tadei3, Guido Perboli3, Mauro
Dell’Amico4, Leandro Guidotti4
1*. Centro Ricerche FIAT, Italy, strada Torino 50, Orbassano (TO), +39 0119083066,
2. FIAT Group Automobiles, Italy
3. Politecnico of Torino, Italy
4. University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy
This paper will present the Italian Field Operation Test (FOT) to be performed within the
European Project euroFOT, aimed at assessing a wide variety of Intelligent Transport
Systems (ITS) across Europe. This FOT is aimed at investigating an already marketed Lane
Departure Warning (LDW) equipped on the Lancia Delta vehicles, deploying a sample of up
to 1000 vehicles, and using a wide and differentiated set of self-reported questionnaires.
Results will be referred to LDW impact on traffic safety, usefulness, and driving behavior.
Given the huge sample, results are expected to accurately depict the actual impact of this
Field Operation Test (FOT), Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), Lane Departure Warning
(LDW), Human Machine Interface (HMI)
The Intelligent Car Initiative (ICI) has identified road safety, energy, efficiency and traffic
congestion as the main challenges currently facing European transportation. Despite their
severity, these issues may be improved with the use of new in-vehicle technologies recently
made available in the market.
Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) – including both safety and telematic applications - have
been the subject of significant research and development in Europe in recent years. Several
models of passenger cars are now equipped with these ITSs as options, like Adaptive Cruise
Control, Lane Departure Warning, and Blind Spot Monitoring. Many others are currently
waiting to be deployed on the market. However, implementing new technologies implies risks
to manufacturers. Factors such as impact of these systems on traffic safety, markets’ and
users’ acceptance are difficult to assess alone from internal testing.
Moving from this preamble, European Commission launched - within the Seventh Framework
Programme (FP7) for research and technological development – a large programme of Field
Operation Tests (FOT) within which ITSs benefit towards traffic safety and users’ acceptance
will be largely tested. In this context, euroFOT research project started, with the main aim to
demonstrate the effectiveness of and encouraging the deployment of intelligent vehicle
systems on European roads.
During the course of 2009-2010, over 2500 vehicles will be tested from 9 European OEM
brands. Several tests centers will be set-up across France, Germany, Italy and Sweden .
The goal of euroFOT is to identify and coordinate an in-the-field testing of ITSs with the
potential for improving the quality and safety of European road traffic. EuroFOT has brought
together 28 different organizations across Europe (e.g. car manufacturers, suppliers,
universities, research institutes and others stakeholders). In details, the project will mainly
address the following research issues: (i) performance and capability of the systems; (ii)
driver’s interaction with and reaction to the systems; (iii) impacts on safety, efficiency, and on
the environment. In order to reach its objectives, the project is applying the methodology that
was developed in 2008 in the European FESTA project .
Different field testing are expected in this project, focused on 8 distinct functions. In
particular: driver assistance in forward/rear longitudinal control functions (i.e. Adaptive
Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, Speed Regulation System), in lateral control (i.e.
Blind Spot Information System, Lane Departure Warning and Impairment Warning), and
finally others advanced applications such as Curve Speed Warning, Fuel Efficiency Adviser,
and Safe Human/Machine Interface .
The project will follow three major steps. In the first, the fleets are being prepared for the
trials specifying the functions, defining hypotheses for each of the functions, setting up data
management procedures, and recruiting the drivers’ samples. Secondly, involving the
installation of data loggers and functionalities into the vehicles. Finally, analyzing data
collected from the vehicle monitoring devices and from the driver himself (the so-called
objective and subjective data).
This paper is focused to describe and highlight the preliminary results of the Italian test site
that will investigate the function available on the New Lancia Delta (see Figure 1 and Figure
2), namely the Driving Advisor. In euroFOT project, other test sites will also test LDW
function using a different experimental method .
Figure 1 – Lancia Delta equipped with Driving Advisor.
Figure 2 – Lancia Delta equipped with Driving Advisor.
TESTING THE LANE DEPARTURE WARNING
The Lane Departure Warning (LDW) provides the feedback through a torque applied on the
steering wheel as soon as the driver unintentionally overcome the lane, namely in case the
proper indicator is not activated (see Figure 3 and Figure 4). This system uses a small camera
mounted on the rearing mirror to look for the lane indicators (see Figure 5), thus detecting
This FOT has the objective to select up to 1000 customers/drivers of the system and follow
them in the first period of use of the system, i.e. 12 months . During such period, drivers
will provide their feedback answering specific questionnaires or filling forms related to
specific events that happened during the vehicle usage.
Figure 3 – Lancia Driving Advisor functional scheme.
Figure 4 – Lane departure and detection of lane line markers.
Figure 5 – The small camera mounted on the rearing mirror.
Five questionnaires are planned. They are directed to the vehicle main user and not to the
owner. The first one is an introductory questionnaire in which the major social and
demographic characteristics of drivers, including their driving habits, attitudes and behaviors
will be collected. It will be filled in by drivers at the FOT start.
The first questionnaire will be used to identify the drivers. They could fill in their personal
details and self-report their driving habits. Some standardized tools could be used to register
these characteristics of drivers. The Driving Behavior Questionnaire (DBQ) will be used to
register the frequency of driving errors and violations judged by the drivers themselves. They
will be asked to indicate how often different kind of situations have happened to them. In
DBQ questionnaire the drivers have to base their judgments on what they remember of their
own driving over the past year .
Another standardized tool that could be used in the introduction questionnaire is the Driving
Style Questionnaire (DSQ) that examines how drivers usually behave in specific situations
. A specific section of the first introduction questionnaire could register the risk perception
of the drivers facing them with a explained contest and asking how often they engage in a
behavior like that or how likely they are to get in an accident while doing that .
In the first questionnaire, the driver also clearly agree to participate at euroFOT project. A
specific consent form will be sent to the driver together with the first questionnaire. Privacy
issues are explained in it and the driver will be asked to agree on management of personal
data by the Vehicle Management Center (VMC). So only information on how data will be
managed in order to guarantee privacy will be explained there.
Other questionnaires will be filled in by drivers at deadlines defined every 3 months. These
questionnaires will detect users' perception about safety, trust, effectiveness, usefulness and
value of the Driving Advisor, in strict accordance with the FESTA project research
hypotheses referred to these functions, and the corresponding performance indicators, i.e. the
quantifiable way to detect how these hypotheses can be assessed .
In the periodical questionnaires the drivers will be asked to fill in a specific post test
questionnaire section. These questionnaires aim to detect the point of view of the user about
some aspects of the LDW function like the perceived usability, the compatibility with the
driving task, the perceived system consequences, the ease of use, the learnability and the
perceived efficiency. In these periodical questionnaires, users could also be asked to evaluate
themselves about their driving performance in the last period . A specific section in the
periodical questionnaires could be dedicated to the drivers’ acceptance using Van Der Laan
scale to register the usability of the system . Also in the periodical questionnaires, the risk
perception of the drivers could be registered.
So far, the main research hypotheses selected and deployed within the FOT are briefly
reported in the following: Does the LDW decrease and mitigate incidents, near-crashes, and
accidents? After some driving experience, does the driver use a safer lane keeping offset even
without LDW? Does the LDW influence speed, lateral driving performance, lane changes
occurrence reduction, and driving in the lane center? Does the LDW reduce curve cutting?
Does the LDW decrease the workload necessary to keep the vehicle inside the lane?
Regarding the Human Machine Interface (HMI) systems, does the LDW issues warnings
when the driver is not looking at the road? Does it increase the use of turn indicators? Does it
provide an appropriate driver reaction? Does it reduce the time spent on secondary tasks over
Moreover, can the LDW number of warnings be considered as a good indicator for
drowsiness? Can be the LDW activation and deactivation related to driver state, weather, road
type, and number of warning issued? Finally, can the LDW be well accepted by the drivers?
Repeated rounds of questionnaires will highlight changes in users’ perceptions over time (see
Figure 6). All questionnaires are paper-based, but on line questionnaires will be set up as an
option. Weekly vehicle normal use questionnaires will be also provided in order to detect and
manage data about drivers’ car use during the FOT execution.
Drivers will be asked to fill in a form and register some data as how many kilometres they did
and what was the average speed in the period.
A board diary is finally planned to record specific situations. It is event oriented and it records
some features about traffic scenario, type of road, driver status and also the description of the
event and the state of the system.
Figure 6 – Questionnaires planning and timing at a glance.
The first draft of the questionnaires will be ready during 2009. A specific phone number and
an email address are foreseen and they will be available for drivers that want information
about questionnaires and how to fill in them. This number represents the help desk contact
and provides support and all information about the project. All data collected through
questionnaires will be inserted into a data server and properly analyzed using the most
advanced statistical parameters. According to euroFOT consortium, the preliminary results
concerning user acceptance and user-related aspects, the impact analysis and the Cost-Benefit
Analysis (CBA) will be defined during 2009. The guidelines and the first draft version of data
analysis plan will be ready during 2009. The analysis tools will be defined first and then they
will be available and tested with piloting .
Table 1 – Piloting overview.
Piloting tests start From September 2009.
Number of vehicles in Piloting tests 10 – 15 vehicles with LDW recruited by
10 – 15 vehicles as piloting baseline without
LDW recruited by Fiat.
Duration of Piloting test Max 3 months.
Submission of introduction questionnaire
and some periodical questionnaires
(certainly in less than 3 months). Details of
piloting will be defined during 2009. Also a
focus group could be set up with piloting
Piloting drivers recruited from New owner of Lancia Delta equipped with
Driving Advisor optional feature (LDW
system). For piloting baseline new owner of
Lancia Delta that did not buy the Driving
Advisor optional feature will be recruited.
Table 2 – FOT overview.
Type of vehicle Cars.
Location National. All Italy.
Road types All types of roads.
Number of vehicles Up to 1000 (including baseline).
Drivers recruited by Five main national Fiat sales centres and
Drivers recruited from New owner of Lancia Delta equipped with
Driving Advisor optional feature (LDW
Incentive Gifts. Different and of increasing value
during the test. No payment in money.
Pre selection criteria Introduction questionnaire.
FOT start From January 2010.
Baseline Car without LDW system.
Random assignment should be considered,
but preferred users as baseline are new
owner of Lancia Delta that did not buy the
Driving Advisor optional feature.
Number of baseline vehicles About 100.
Baseline test: overview and duration 12 months.
Periodical questionnaire every 3 months. In
total 4 periodical questionnaires.
Questionnaires without parts related to the
Table 3 – Experimental design overview.
90% fleet (900 vehicles):
10% fleet (100 vehicles):
Conclusions of this FOT will permit an accurate investigation and understanding of the
impact of LDW in respect to several aspects such as safety, usefulness, acceptance, comfort,
driving behaviors, etc. Given the huge sample to be collected, this assessment would offer to
OEM, stakeholders and researchers the possibility to consider the results of this analysis not
only limited to a restricted number of subjects but extended to the drivers’ universe as a
The complete results will be available at the end of the project, planned in 2011 . The
paper will describe the questionnaires and the preliminary results from the first feedbacks
available from the selected users.
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