What is UDRIVE?

UDRIVE is the first large-scale European Naturalistic Driving (meaning that the behaviour of road users is observed unobtrusively in a natural setting) Study on cars, trucks and powered-two wheelers. The acronym stands for “European naturalistic Driving and Riding for Infrastructure & Vehicle safety and Environment”. 

Road transport is indispensable for the exchange of goods and persons. However, at the same time it has severe negative consequences, among others related to road safety and the environment. In order to meet EU targets, both the number of crashes and vehicle emission levels need to be reduced substantially. Therefore, with the aim of identifying the next generation of measures that will enable us to effectively reach these targets, a far more in-depth understanding of actual road user behaviour is needed.

The UDRIVE project builds further on the experience of the PROLOGUE feasibility study and various Field Operational Tests (FOTs), and aims to contribute to developing this in-depth knowledge by conducting the first large-scale European Naturalistic Driving (ND) study.

Over a period of two years, UDRIVE will collect naturalistic data on passenger cars, trucks, and powered two-wheelers. All data - including video data showing the forward view of the vehicle and a view of the driver, as well as geographic information system (GIS) data - will be collected continuously to bring knowledge in the various research areas well beyond the current state-of-the-art.

Facts & Figures
Project acronym: UDRIVE
Project name: “European naturalistic Driving and Riding for Infrastructure & Vehicle safety and Environment”
Project type: Collaborative project – Large-scale integrating project
Programme: 7th EU Framework Programme
Project Coordinator: Nicole Van Nes - SWOV
Consortium: 19 project partners
Start date: 1 October 2012
End date: 30 June 2017
Budget: € 10.617 mio.
EU funding: € 8 mio.


UDRIVE will increase our understanding of road user behaviour. Its objectives are two-fold: to identify well-founded and tailored measures to improve road safety up to the Horizon 2020 and beyond, and to identify approaches for reducing harmful emissions and fuel consumption in order to make road traffic more sustainable.

From a scientific and technical point of view, UDRIVE aims at:

  • Describing and quantifying road user behaviour in different European regions, in regular conditions and (near-)crashes, and provide a quantified estimate of the risk of particular safety-critical behaviours, focussing especially on
    • the prevalence and effects of driver/rider states, such as distraction and inattention
    • interactions between drivers/riders and high risk groups like pedestrians and cyclists
  • Describing and quantifying road user behaviour in relation to emission levels and fuel consumption, focussing in particular on
    • the effects of driving style
    • road and road network characteristics
    • traffic conditions such as congestion, impaired visibility or adverse weather
  • Identifying new approaches, measures and tools to make the traffic system safer and more sustainable, focussing especially on
    • the definition of measurable safety and environmental performance indicators for monitoring developments over time
    • improving existing models of driver behaviour to be used for e.g. predicting effect of safety and environmental measures, and traffic flow simulations
    • applications in commercial transport, including driver support systems and targeted training for safer and more fuel efficient driving

Finally, after it is concluded, the UDRIVE project will offer access (within the bounds of legal and ethical restrictions) to the collected data so that it can be consulted and used for subsequent analyses by road safety and environmental experts from all over the world. This will enable the exploitation of the data beyond the scope of the UDRIVE project.


UDRIVE roughly follows the steps of the FESTA-V methodology:

  • Study Design
  • Data Management
  • Data Collection
  • Data Analysis
  • Impact
UDRIVE work programme FESTA-V

More information about the UDRIVE methodology can be found here.