UDRIVE – Naturalistic Driving Study

A deep understanding of driving behaviour delivers key indications on how assistance systems and automation may support  drivers and prevent crashes. In UDRIVE,  the first large-scale European study, naturalistic driving behaviour in cars, trucks, and on motorbikes is observed.

Selected drivers are observed over a period of four to 21 months during their daily driving. Data on drivers, vehicles, and the surrounding traffic are gathered using discreet monitoring systems and without experimental intervention. The data acquisition system (DAS) consisting of, for example, a GPS unit, accelerometer and camera were installed in the volunteers’ personal vehicles in such a way that drivers are not influenced and behave as naturally as possible. The DAS acquires information on vehicle movements (acceleration, deceleration, position on the road, velocity), on drivers (head and hand movements) and on the immediate traffic surrounding (traffic density, road conditions, weather conditions). The equipment will be removed from the vehicle after the study without leaving any trace.

Data will be analysed and the results will be used to describe and quantify everyday driving behaviour, compare this across European regions, and detect and analyse (near) collisions. The risk of safety-relevant behaviours can be quantified taking distractions and a lack of attention into consideration or the interaction with vulnerable road users (e.g. pedestrians and cyclists). More knowledge of the influence of driving behaviour on emissions and fuel consumption can be gained on the basis of UDRIVE.


Left: example of a camera installation; right: example of what a camera sees

DLR is in charge of the German operation site including 20 equipped vehicles. EU-wide, 186 vehicles gather data: 120 cars (Germany, France, the Netherlands, Poland), 32 trucks (the Netherlands) and 40 motorbikes (Spain). The operation sites are spread across Europe ensuring a wide variety in driver behaviour, traffic infrastructure, presence of vulnerable road users, climatic conditions, and traffic density. Several Renault dealership supported the recruitment process of the drivers: Autohaus Kaiser (Braunschweig) and Autohaus Härtel (Braunschweig), Ahrens (Hanover), Dürkop (Hildesheim) and Autodienst Kohl (Helmstedt). The installation of the data acquisition system as well as necessary maintenance was carried out by the company Dr. Schmid GmbH.

Project name
UDRIVE – European naturalistic Driving and Riding for Infrastructure & Vehicle safety and Environment
10/2012 – 06/2017
European Union
Project partners

Institute for Road Safety research (SWOV)
Federal Highway Research Institute (bast)
Centrum dopravniho vyzkumu (CDV)
Centre Européen d‘Etude de Sécurité et d‘Analyse des Risques (CEESAR)
Fundación para la investigación y desarrollo en transporte y energía (CIDAUT)
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
ERTICO ITS Europe - European Road Transport Telematics Implementation Coordination
Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA)
Road and Bridge Research Institute (IBDiM)
Institut Français des Sciences et Technologies des Transports, de l'Aménagement et
des Réseaux (IFSTTAR)
Kuratorium für Verkehrssicherheit (KFV)
Laboratory of Accidentology and Biomechanics, GIE PSA – RENAULT (LAB)
Loughborough University, Transport Safety Research Centre