Photo: Volvo

Photo: Volvo

The China-Sweden Research Centre for Traffic Safety (CTS), with Volvo Car Group in a leading role, has launched a close-up study of driving behavior in the Chinese megacities Beijing and Shanghai.

The insight into how drivers handle these exceptionally busy traffic environments is an important part of Volvo Cars' aim to develop safety systems that help drivers all over the world to avoid accidents, according to Volvo.

The Midsize Naturalistic Driving FOT in China (China FOT) is a joint effort by Volvo Cars, the Chinese Ministry of Transport's Research Institute of Highway (RIOH), Tongji University, Chalmers University of Technology and the Swedish companies ÅF Technologies and Autoliv.

Volvo, RIOH, Tongji University and Chalmers University of Technology are also partners of the recently opened China-Sweden Research Centre for Traffic Safety in Beijing, China.

The 10 Volvo S60Ls in the China FOT project will be equipped with a number of cameras that monitor the driver and the surrounding traffic. Information is also collected from the car-integrated sensors in the safety and driver support systems. This means that every incident and situation can be studied and evaluated. The drivers have signed a consent form, to agree to be filmed.

Starting in May 2014, a large number of real customers in Beijing and Shanghai will drive the cars during a 10-month test period. The collected material, approx. 5 terabytes of data from about 100,000 km of driving, will be analysed throughout 2015.

So far, the most extensive field operational tests have been carried out in the United States and Europe. Volvo Cars was also one of the partners in the recently completed Euro FOT study.

“The baseline behavior of a driver is pretty much the same wherever you go in the world. However, the culture and the specific traffic environment are local factors that influence vital behaviours, such as how you take and avoid risks in intense city traffic. This is one of our main focus areas in the China FOT study,” says John-Fredrik Grönvall.