Methodological Aspects of Field Operational Tests of After-Market and Nomadic Driver Support Systems and Impacts on Mobility

Ruth Helen Welsh1, *, Andrew Morris1, Satu Innamaa2
1 Design School, Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom
2 VTT Technical Research Centre, Espoo, Finland

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Creative Commons License
© 2017 Welsh et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Design School, Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom; Tel: +4401509226981; E-mail:



This paper reports on the methodology undertaken and some results achieved within a study of drivers using aftermarket and nomadic devices (the TeleFOT project).


To evaluate the methodology for conducting Field Operational Tests for Information and Communication Technology whilst also providing an example of the method applied in the context of mobility within the TeleFOT project.


A ‘Top down, bottom up’ approach to the derivation of research questions and hypotheses is described. Statistical analysis has been undertaken on data collected through Field Operational Tests and Travel Diaries considering the impact of information functions (such as navigation, traffic information and green driving) upon journey length.


A summary of the results relating specifically to how the length of a journey can be affected by information functions indicates that Navigation and Traffic information can reduce the length of journeys whilst Green Driving functions tend to increase the journey length.


The FOT methodology was successfully applied in the TeleFOT project as was the novel method for generating research questions. When turning the theoretical FOT method developed in FESTA into practice, several good innovations were made which can be recommended for future FOTs; collation of metadata, the use of comparable origin / destination pairs for analysis, centralised processing of raw data into legs in order to simplify the analysis of the huge datasets collected in the project.

Keywords: Field Operational Tests (FOT), TeleFOT project, FESTA, Quasi-experimental methods, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), Nomadic Devices.