EUROFOT: A RISKS ANALYSIS
Marco Dozza1, Karsten Heinig1*, Emma Johansson1, Lena Kanstrup1, Fredrik
Moeschlin1, Erik Svanberg1, Johan Engström1, Zoran Antic2, Claes Avedal2
1. Volvo Technology Corporation, Sweden
2. Volvo 3P, Sweden
Götaverksgatan 10, M1.6
40508 Göteborg, Sweden
+46 31 322 74 69
Field operational tests (FOTs) are studies aimed at collecting data in real-traffic in order, for
example, to evaluate the actual impact of in-vehicle systems on road safety. Both Japan and
the US have a long history of FOTs which demonstrated both how powerful and delicate
FOTs can be. In fact, on the one hand FOT data has the potential to answer in a definitive,
quantitative, and statistically significant way many questions related to the actual benefits of
new technologies. On the other hand, the high complexity of such studies results in a number
of challenges to be faced and risks to be managed.
euroFOT is one of the first large scale field operational test in Europe and aims at collecting
extended data (from Controller Area Network, cameras, and extra sensors) from 1500
vehicles in real-traffic. euroFOT has the potential to catch up and even go beyond US/Japan.
However, euroFOT’s high ambitions and complexity imply a number of challenges and risks.
In this paper, the main challenges and risks foreseen at the moment from an Original
Equipment Manufacturer stand point in euroFOT are discussed and risk management actions
to minimize risks in the euroFOT project are also presented.
field operational test, euroFOT, in-vehicle safety systems, risk management
Field operational tests (FOTs) are studies undertaken to evaluate a function, or functions,
under normal operating conditions in environments typically encountered by the host
vehicles(s) using quasi-experimental methods . FOT studies in the US and in Japan have
already shown how, for instance, by using frontal collision warning and adaptive cruise
control, accidents can be reduced up to 28% (Volvo Intelligent Vehicle Initiative Field
Operational Test ). However, such information for European traffic is still missing due to
the limited number of FOT studies performed so far in Europe.
euroFOT  is a FP7, EC-funded FOT which promises, together with TeleFOT , and other
national FOTs (e.g. AOS  and SeMiFOT ) now in progress, to partially fill in the gap of
knowledge in between Europe and US/Japan by assessing the impact of in-vehicle systems on
the European traffic. Previous FOTs evidenced how delicate FOTs are and how high is the
risk of technical failure resulting in data loss in such tests. Therefore, euroFOT success
depends on this project ability to successfully overcome 1) well-known challenges
individuated by previous FOTs and 2) new challenges which originate from the new FOT
geographical location (e.g. European-specific ethical and legal regulations).
In this paper, some of the challenges that euroFOT, as well as most of the other European
FOTs, will need to face in the next couple of years to successfully achieve what they have
promised are discussed from an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) point of view.
CHALLENGES IN THE EXECUTION OF EUROFOT
euroFOT is a very complex project because it comprises: 1) installing additional hardware in
a large number of vehicles spread across Europe, 2) collecting, uploading, and analysing huge
amounts of data, 3) taking care of legal issues related to the continuous collection of data
(such as video recording of real traffic), 4) guarantying the driver’s ethical rights during the
test, and 5) protecting the proprietary developments of the different OEMs and suppliers
involved in this project.
In the rest of this section, we discuss 1) how this implicit complexity of euroFOT results in a
number of challenges and risks for the success of euroFOT (Figure 1) and 2) how euroFOT
can face theses challenges and manage these risks.
Figure 1 – Main risks in euroFOT which may severely and negatively impact the project.
Recruitment and Communication with the Participants
euroFOT is recruiting 1500 customer vehicles. Recruitment is crucial for the euroFOT
execution since lack of participants will proportionally result in lack of data, and potentially
impair statistical significance of the results. Customers are very important for the profit of the
OEMs involved in euroFOT, so any discomfort from participating to euroFOT needs to be
avoided. Discomfort to the customers may be originated by 1) unclear communication of the
consequences of participating to euroFOT, 2) malfunctioning of the logging systems resulting
in partial or total malfunctioning of the vehicles, 3) intensive communication or demands to
collect subjective data, 4) stand still time for the vehicle due to data collection or installation
and maintenance of the data acquisition systems (DASs). In order to avoid (or at least
mitigate) customers’ discomfort, euroFOT is 1) creating a good OEM-specific
communication plan with the euroFOT participants, 2) planning on performing extensive pilot
tests (see Loggers’ installation and data collection paragraph below), and 3) working on a
strategy to offer continuous support and incentive the customers.
Legal and ethical regulations across Europe
euroFOT is collecting petabytes of data. Data will come from the Controller Area Network
(CAN), extra sensors such as eye tracking systems and accelerometers, and video cameras.
Regulations for collection, ownership, and storage of such data may differ across Europe.
Nevertheless, euroFOT data collection needs to comply with the legal requirements of each
country. For this reasons, euroFOT already asked support to the EUCAR consortium to
understand European, country-specific, legal requirements. Additional support from the
European Commission or projects such as FOT-NET  may be necessary for euroFOT to
gather enough information about legal requirements in Europe and successfully comply with
Further, video cameras will record both the drivers’ and the vehicles surrounding. Data
privacy is therefore an issue since position of many vehicles and people will be stored and
time stamped in the data loggers. In addition, video recording might be legally restricted in
proximity of military areas, airports, boarders, industrial delivery areas, etc… Collection of
data where not authorized and access of private data from anybody outside the project may
seriously and negatively impact euroFOT.
The probability that one of the euroFOT vehicles will be involved in a crash is statistically
low, however, it is possible. Such a situation may constitute a risk for the project since: 1) it
will need to be proved that the data acquisition system installation did not induce (or
contribute to) the accident and 2) the data recorded by the logger may be used by public
authorities against the driver participating to euroFOT.
Depending on the different European countries, a FOT may be considered an experiment with
human subjects and may therefore need to comply with the Declaration of Helsinki  and
corresponding national laws. Support from the European Commission or projects such as
FOT-NET  may be necessary for euroFOT to be aware of the different ethical regulations
in the different European countries and be able to guarantee that the participants’ ethical
rights are guaranteed accordingly.
Data Acquisition System and Data Collection
Data collection in euroFOT is accomplished in two main steps: 1) the collection of data in the
vehicles by means of a data acquisition system and 2) the upload of the recorded data to a data
base. Hence data collection depends on the availability of a suitable and validated data
acquisition system (DAS) and upload procedure. A DAS consists of one or more main units
for recording of all data sources of interest, such as the vehicle communication networks (e. g.
CAN or Local Interconnect Network), several cameras recording the vehicle surroundings,
and data from additional sensing equipment like eye-/ head tracking or accelerometers. It
consists of course also of all necessary cable harnesses and communication gateways. To
minimize the necessary efforts for installing and maintaining a DAS during the runtime of the
FOT, several demands must be met, such as
1) an easy, time and resource efficient as well as a rugged and OEM regulation compliant
installation of all units in the vehicles, while at the same time providing easy
accessibility of the different units for maintenance during the runtime of the FOT,
2) providing means for an easy, robust, time- and resource-efficient collection or upload
of the data. Wireless data upload is preferable, but might not be possible due to huge
amounts of video data,
3) the DAS must fulfil legal requirements relevant for automotive products since it might
not always be possible to avoid customer owned vehicles, which are not classified as
4) the DAS and the data collection process must be fully validated in two consecutive
steps. First, a pilot study will be carried out before the majority of the vehicles can be
instrumented. Secondly, every single installation of a DAS in a FOT vehicle will be
validated by following a vehicle specific procedure. The pilot study includes a
validation of all units of the DAS, but also of the complete DAS as it will be installed
in the FOT vehicles. It consists of extensive tests of the DAS on the workbench and in
its test installation in the pilot vehicles in all relevant use cases and of several test
drives including predefined driving manoeuvres and driving in a realistic traffic
environment, that is, in real traffic.
In order to properly test all equipment and reduce technical risks, euroFOT is planning on
having extensive piloting. In fact, in vehicle adaptation and piloting are in the process to be
re-planned at each OEM. This re-planning is aimed at guaranteeing longer time to test 1) the
prototype vehicle and the DAS, 2) the data collection, uploading and storing, chain, and 3) the
data analysis procedure – by collecting representative data able to test the script for data
analysis and the database functionalities.
Data analysis and overall presentation of the results
euroFOT will evaluate the impact of 8 different in-vehicle systems on safety, environment,
mobility, and usage and acceptance. The main risk for the data analysis is to be inconclusive
due to, for example, 1) lack of statistical significance, 2) lack of time to complete the analysis,
or 3) lack of data due to technical issues. However, data analysis may also be hindered in
case, for instance, if the OEM’s and supplier’s proprietary knowledge are not sufficiently
protected. For example, radar data from adaptive cruise control systems may not be shared by
the OEMs since, reverse engineering on such data would result in disclosing proprietary
algorithms. Interest in participating to the euroFOT project may totter from the OEMs and
suppliers side when balanced with the risk of disclosing proprietary information, and have
consequently a negative impact on data analysis. This risk can be avoided by setting
reasonable expectations about the extent and modality of data sharing which can be
envisioned inside the euroFOT project. Discussions on this issue have been initiated among
the euroFOT steering committee members.
euroFOT is an ambitious project which will face several challenges. This paper discusses
some of the risks involved with facing such challenges. Specifically, 1) not fulfilling legal and
ethical European regulation, 2) presence of DAS technical problems, and 3) uncontrolled data
sharing seem to constitute the major risks in euroFOT. Active support from the European
Commission and FOT-NET may be the only way to guarantee the fulfilment of legal and
ethical European regulation; extensive testing is necessary to minimize technical-related risks;
and, finally, a clear plan on data sharing seems the best way to prevent undesired sharing of
the risks of proprietary knowledge. In euroFOT, risk management actions are in progress to
avoid, minimize, or mitigate all risks individuated so far.
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