We developed the DriveTrack® method in order to collect representative statements on customers’ real driving behavior, e.g., in a specific car model, using random samples and data loggers. This allows the relatively expensive measuring procedure to be implemented even for smaller budgets. 

These insights can be applied to:

  • Provide information to support decisions in development  
  • Obtain basic data for regulatory stakeholders, e.g., on the topics consumption and CO2 emissions
  • Identify different types of users and also cultural differences in vehicle use.    


The DriveTrack® method can be roughly divided into three phases:

  1. Sample selection
  2. Field phase with recording of the data logger
  3. Data cleaning and analysis

Sample selection

With the DriveTrack® survey, Spiegel Institut offers its proprietary secured instrument to categorize different types of drivers. As a result, it is possible to extrapolate a small sample of the drivers with data loggers onto the overall population using weighting factors. We assist you in recruiting and addressing suitable customers for the survey. The sample selection is then made based on the following steps:  

  1. Defining the relevant criteria (vehicle use), for example hard facts such as annual mileage or soft facts like statements about the driving style.
  2. Create the segmentation based on these criteria. Identifying driver types using a cluster analysis or archetype clustering. 
  3. Proportional selection of participants based on the identified segments. Selection of participants for vehicle measurement proportional to the segment sizes (layered sample based on previously identified segments).

Field phase with recording of the data logger

At the beginning of the field phase, the data loggers, which are usually provided by the contractor, are installed in customer vehicles. These are normally CAN data loggers that directly record the CAN bus signal and are previously installed in the vehicle. 

We are happy to assist in setting up the appointments with participants, finding suitable high-quality locations to install the data loggers or through our hotline for any customer issues. 

The next step is the recording phase. The driving data are recorded consistently over a period of several months. The signals are either saved on memory cards or sent via a mobile network to the back-end server. After the end of the field phase, the data logger is removed. 

Data cleaning and analysis

Working with our partners, we are happy to support you in data cleaning and analysis. Given the large amounts of data, the analysis is done with the help of special scripted tools. The analysis can sometimes take several days. 

We prepare the data for you in clear and beautifully visualized presentations and assist in drawing up recommendations for action.    

Expansion packs

In addition, we offer a range of additional packages to DriveTrack® to ensure you learn as much as possible from the survey.

Possible additional packages are: 

  • Installed cameras that also visually record the driving situations and thus give an insight into specific situations. 
  • Accompanying interviews to show the participants’ subjective driving experience and combine this with the objective driving data. We learn not only “how” customers behave but also the motivation for this behavior.  
  • Ethnographic in-home interviews to support content and illustrate driver segments with photographic material, personal descriptions, etc. 
  • Qualitative logInsight® online journal with interactive elements.
  • Use of heart rate monitors to collect physiological data in real time.