The ecoDriver project organised a the session “How can eco-driving contribute to the decarbonisation of road transport?” at the ITS World Congress 2015 . It included presentations on different aspects of the project and discussions focusing on willingness-to-pay and deployment issues.

Download the presentations here

The public’s view on marketing ecodriving systems

Attendees were asked how much they would be willing to pay extra on a new vehicle for an ecoDriver system that would save 7% of their fuel bill. In general, around €200 was considered reasonable, though responses from the audience ranged from €500 to nothing.

When asked whether there is a minimum percentage of saving that is worth paying something for, people considered that small savings (<5%) would probably not be noticed by the driver. For commercial operators which drive greater distances and control their costs more, small savings could however still be important.

Another point, especially coming from public reaction from the Volkswagen emissions scandal is that potential customers may become increasingly sceptical of savings claims and may not wish to pay extra for an eco-driving system unless they are certain that it will produce significant savings. Since the savings that it would deliver to each user would vary depending on baseline driving style, distances driven, types of roads and traffic, vehicle type and powertrain, load carried, etc. “selling” the system based on average performance figures from trials remains a challenge.

Opinions were split on whether eco-driving systems should be mandatory on all vehicles. Some considered that manufacturers should choose freely whether to include systems as mandatory inclusion would push the price of cheaper cars upward and maybe have the negative effect that people will continue to use older, more polluting cars. On the other hand, fitment to only higher end models or as an option would seriously limit take-up. Comparison was made to other in-vehicle equipment that used to be optional (e.g. seatbelts until the 1970s or early 80s) and are now standard on all vehicles.

Regarding standardisation of the Human-Machine Interface, there is a trade-off between the freedom by manufacturers to differentiate their products from competitors, and the need to present systems that are easily understandable for drivers.

Although it could be argued that driverless vehicles make ecoDriver redundant, technologies developed and tested by ecoDriver could be incorporated into the driving programs, so that even if the Human-Machine Interface is not present, the cars eco-drive themselves.

You may also be interested in: ecoDriver Final event, 16-17 March 2016, Stuttgart

Launched in March, TomTom’s new OptiDrive 360 telematics system uses vehicle and GPS location data to give motorists real-time driving advice aimed at boosting their fuel economy and improving how safe they are behind the wheel.
This predictive tech helps drivers to anticipate the road ahead better, even suggesting when they should ease off the accelerator – when approaching traffic lights or roundabouts for instance – when they should change gear and what speed they should travel at to reduce their fuel consumption most effectively.
The TomTom system was developed on the back of the EU’s Ecodriver project, which the navigation company was actively involved in. The project aims to cut emissions and fuel consumption by 20% in road transport, which could mean substantial savings across car fleets.
OptiDrive 360 actively coaches the driver, while users are also able to access snapshot data that gives them a rundown of their driving statistics. Fleet managers haven’t been forgotten either, with TomTom Telematics’ Webfleet platform offering managers both handy dashboards that highlight driving trends and in-depth reports on how their fleets are being used.
The software scores drivers across eight parameters: speeding, fuel consumption, gear shifting, coasting, idling, constant speed, green speed and driving events – including swerving or heavy braking incidents. This information can then be used by fleet managers to provide targeted training or performance reviews to high-risk drivers.
Despite only recently arriving on the market, the company claims OptiDrive 360 has already slashed fleets’ fuel use and emissions, with an early trial reporting a claimed fall in CO2 of 10% on average. Meanwhile, housing association DCH and snack manufacturer Tayto Group have each seen a 15% drop in fuel costs after adopting the TomTom system.
Our judges praised the software for taking a clever approach to how it encourages users to change their driving style. The software’s ability to tell the driver exactly when to ease off the throttle when approaching traffic lights, roundabouts or other hazards also won TomTom points against its rivals, with the possibility of real economy improvements across fleets