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EU project evaluates nomadic device benefits for drivers

The Chalmers division Design & Human Factors is the host of an international project meeting on 26-27 May about how smart phones, PDAs and personal navigators provide drivers with different support functions.

The support functions could be traffic and incident information, actual speed limit, navigation and green driving support. The objective of the project is to evaluate the impacts of these functions when used during long time in everyday traffic. Impact areas covered are efficiency, mobility, environment, safety and user up-take.

Design & Human Factors at the Department of Product and Production Development is leading the project work to develop and establish partly new methods and tools to be used in the scientific framework applied in the EU project TeleFOT. At the meeting in Gothenburg, the first project year will be summarised and assessed and future work plans will be developed.

During the next two years a large number of field tests will start in Greece, Italy, Spain, France, UK, Finland, and Sweden. The test sites will recruit drivers and vehicles, decide what functions and systems to test, install equipment for data collection, prepare and conduct the studies, and start the impact analysis work.

The European Commission has launched the concept of FOT (Field Operational Tests) with the intention to study the impacts of systems and functions when used in real life and in mature products. These products are in many cases based on the results from earlier EU-funded research and development projects. Several questions will be addressed; for example:

- Will the impacts of support functions be the same when used in real life compared to prototype testing?

- How can the utility and the usability of new functions and systems be mediated to different user groups, i.e. what factors influence user acceptance?

About TeleFOT:
TeleFOT is an EU-funded large scale collaborative project running over four years (2008-2012) with a total budget of 14, 4 MEUR. The Chalmers share is about 10% or 1, 3 MEUR.

The project is coordinated by the Finnish research institute VTT and is led by researchers from universities and institutes. There are 25 partners including vehicle and telecom industries, and from Sweden the participants are Chalmers, Swedish Road Administration, Stockholm City, Apello, Triona and Stockholm Public Transport.

Prof. Stig Franzén, +46-31-772 42 48,
Prof. MariAnne Karlsson, +46-31-772 11 08,
Division Design & Human Factors, Department of Product and Production Development.

Sofie Hebrand | idw
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