Improving driving eco-performance with gamification

With the significant uptake in online shopping and home delivery, we need to find methods to reduce the carbon impact of our logistics networks if we wish to meet carbon goals. One method can be through improving the fuel-efficiency of the trucks and vans used in home delivery and shipping. Fortunately, the fuel consumption of a vehicle ties directly into both the economic cost of trip alongside its ecological impact, meaning finding ways to drive greener will save money as well as the environment. 

Driver behaviour has a large impact on how much fuel will be consumed during a vehicle’s trip. Many of the regular acts of driving, such as inefficiently gear shifting, harshly breaking or quickly accelerating all increase the vehicle’s carbon emission.  Driver training can go a long way to helping drivers be aware of these events and their economic impact, however the large time delay between these events occurring and being covered by training can limit the impact of the training. 

With the introduction of telematics devices – that read data live from a vehicle, alerting drivers about events such as sudden breaking or excessive acceleration can be done in real time. However, these alerts are often distracting and discouraging, punishing drivers for events that can often be out of their control, such as having to break harshly to avoid a reckless driver. Additional feedback can be obtuse, not showing drivers how to fix the mistakes the devices point out. 

This project seeks to support drivers in improving their eco-driving skills buy encouraging fuel-efficient driving styles. By working with industrial partners, we aim to be able to provide useful metrics that would help identify promising drivers who may wish to continue with a logistics carrier.  

This project was funded by EPSRC (#IAA-Spanellis-03/22). It is led by Dr Agnessa Spanellis and Ember McMenemy in partnership with Sainsbury’s.