The EC co-funded project DRIVE C2X provided evidence that cooperative systems work and demonstrated positive impacts on driver behaviour, mobility, traffic safety, travel efficiency and the environment, with high user acceptance.
DRIVE C2X provided a comprehensive, Europe-wide assessment of cooperative systems through field operational tests. The test results were part of the preparation of the roll-out of cooperative systems in Europe. In DRIVE C2X, more than 750 drivers tested eight safety-related functions of cooperative functions all over Europe. The operational tests took place in seven test sites in Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.
The tests clearly demonstrated a positive impact of DRIVE C2X. The functions were primarily safety functions, and the impacts, when found, were mostly changes in speed, and its derivatives. Nevertheless, there was clear proof that drivers reacted to information and warning signals provided by the cooperative function by reducing their speed in most cases. No changes in strategic behaviour (route choice, mode choice) were found due to the nature of the functions.
To provide some examples of the results, the In-Vehicle Signage (IVS) function had indeed positive impacts on driver behaviour, especially, in areas where special attention should be paid on vulnerable road users as IVS child sign and IVS ‘pedestrian crossing ahead’ sign had impact of reducing speed in their relevance area. In addition, there were some indications of smoother driving with the stop sign.
The main safety results showed that the functions affected traffic safety in a positive way by preventing fatalities and injuries. The IVS on speed limit and Weather Warning (WW) showed most potential to decrease fatalities. Assuming a 100% penetration rate, IVS speed limit that provides continuous information would reduce on average 23% in fatalities and 13% in injuries. WW would lead to 6% less fatalities and 5% less injuries.
From an efficiency perspective, functions such as the IVS on speed limit and Green Light Optimized Speed Advisory (GLOSA) indicated significant effects for both the environment and traffic efficiency.
User acceptance was high with nine out of ten test users welcoming the cooperative systems. Users indicated that they are willing to use function if it available in the vehicle. The qualitative mobility assessment revealed positive impacts. Specifically, journey quality is improved in terms of decreased user uncertainty and stress, and feeling of safety and travel comfort.
As conclusion, the DRIVE C2X project investigated Day-one cooperative functions which are primarily focused on improving road safety. The analysis revealed that the safety results are promising for the DRIVE C2X functions individually. When the cooperative systems are brought to the market, they will be offered in bundles of systems on vehicles, i.e. multiple systems in a package. The safety impacts of the bundles targeting different situations will be larger than the impacts of the individual systems.
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 270410, DRIVE C2X.
Coordinator: Matthias Schulze, Daimler AG