Extensive research shows van drivers have made positive changes

TeleFOT Consortium has released the results of a four-year study where they assessed the impact of driver support functions provided by smartphones, sat-navs and other in-vehicle devices that helped driver behaviour.

The extensive research reveals that intelligent transport systems allow a driver to find quicker and less congested routes, and also stops them from accidentally speeding. It is an advantage that has been welcomed by drivers who find their working day less stressful and by their fleet managers who are successfully keeping commercial vehicle insurance costs down due to fewer claims.

The study showed that fuel costs dropped, as did driver anxiety, while the drivers feeling of safety and comfort went up significantly. The research was based on extensive field trials, with almost 3,000 van drivers covering a combined distance of more than 10 million miles in eight countries throughout Europe. With a budget of £12 million, the four-year project was one of the biggest traffic projects in Europe. Many intelligent pieces of technology are already part of the daily lives of many van drivers, but information about their actual impacts on road safety had not previously been available. Van drivers from the UK, Finland, Greece, Spain, Sweden, Germany, France and Italy were recruited for the research. The completed trials produced a unique set of data, based on a comprehensive assessment of driver behaviour.

Steven Miles, a fleet manager for one of the UK based firms, said “The research analysed the impact of driver support functions provided by in-vehicle devices on safety, efficiency, the environment and driver behaviour while in busy traffic areas. The services tested included static and dynamic navigation support, green driving support, speed limit information and traffic information. Of the devices tested, navigators and traffic information systems, in particular, increased our efficiency by allowing the driver to quickly and easily find a quicker and much less congested route. They also helped us to lower fuel consumption and to reduce speeding, which improves road safety.”

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