One of the activities in the SASPENCE subproject is evaluation of the effects of the SASPENCE system on driver behaviour while driving in real traffic conditions in Italy and Spain. Twenty test drivers on each test site will be observed by means of an in-car observation method (the Wiener Fahrprobe). The observation method was developed by behavioural scientists in Austria. The observations are carried out by two observers, riding along in the car with the driver, where one of the observers studies standardised variables such as yielding behaviour, lane changes and interaction with other road users. The other observer carries out ''free observations'' such as conflicts, communication and special events that are hard to predict, let alone to standardise.
The training of the observers is carried out during one week in October at Lund University, Sweden by the originator of the method. After a short introduction into the principles of the use of the method, information is given on what it aims at studying and why.
This includes both heuristic aspects -plausible reasons according to common sense and to experience - and empirical data on relationships between certain types of behaviour and accident risk. After the theory part the trainees themselves elaborate on possible observation variables, according to their own experience as road users.
The scheme of variables that they develop in this way is then, in an iterative process modified, corrected and completed with the help of feedback provided by the trainer. This part of the training ends with observation forms, the contents of which resemble the original in-car observation forms. On a test route up to four trainees together observe the test driver. All observers carry out the same part of the observation, either coding observation or free observation. All training trips are followed by a discussion of all registered events. The discussions should lead to a consensus between the observers and the trainer on how the events should be registered. The training trips are repeated until a consistency in the observers' registrations has been reached and all of the Observers feel confident about the method.
For more information, please contact SASPENCE SP Leader Andrea Saroldi at [email protected]