Now that the four-year research project has come to an end, the results of the European Field Operational Test (euroFOT) have been made public. Eight driver assistance systems that have been on the market since 2008 were comprehensively tested. Of the 28 partners from the automotive industry, research institutions and universities, the Allianz Center for Technology (AZT) had been entrusted with the effectiveness analysis.
For the test 1,000 specially equipped cars and heavy goods vehicles were out and about on Europe's roads for more than twelve months, driven by a variety of drivers. Every time the cars made a turn, increased or reduced their speed or changed lanes, movement values were tracked and documented. Moreover, drivers and driving situations were recorded on film in many of the cars. The research project studied the potential of the driver assistance systems to increase traffic safety and efficiency, the drivers' willingness to accept the systems, improvements in driving behavior, the fuel-saving potential and the corresponding impact on the environment.
"In the past, any evaluation of these systems had to rely on forecasts and a large number of assumptions. For the first time this large-scale field test now provides genuine scientific data on acceptance, use and efficiency that clearly demonstrate the increased safety provided by systems that are already available," said Johann Gwehenberger, Head of Accident Research at AZT. The results speak for themselves. For instance, simply by using adaptive cruise control in combination with the forward collision warning system, 42 percent of all forward collisions on highways could be avoided.
Allianz will be making use of euroFOT results for international insurance products
The commitment to the euroFOT project is an important part of the Allianz Global Automotive strategy. As a development partner of the automotive industry Allianz provides support to its partners in a wide range of areas: from research and development to production, sales, after sales and claims handling.
"The data that were gathered in real-life traffic are particularly important to Allianz", explains Karsten Crede, CEO of Allianz Global Automotive. "They enable us to even better evaluate the impact of driver assistance systems on insurance claims and to develop insurance products for the international market with our partners in the automotive industry that take account of the accident reduction potential."
euroFOT field test results
Given the real measurements and experience in the field, accident researchers at the Allianz Center for Technology are optimistic that using driver assistance systems of the current and the next generation can result in an even greater increase in safety. A fast time-to-market, which Allianz will continue to support in the long term by means of awareness campaigns for drivers and corresponding insurance products, is an absolute must.
The euroFOT practical test focused on eight individual driver assistance functions. In addition to a variety of insights into the influence on traffic efficiency and fuel consumption, the following research results on traffic safety are of particular significance: