Could the way you drive save you money?

June 21, 2016

Are you a good driver? We are exploring how people who perform well behind the wheel could qualify for reduced travel costs – using a new prototype smartphone app.

Designed to work in a similar way to fitness and exercise apps, the app helps to incentivise drivers to accelerate steadily and steer smoothly, and calculates a personal driver score based on behaviour on the road.

“Like an activity-tracking app that shows the distance we cover and calories we burn, a personal driver score encourages people to drive smarter,” said Jonathan Scott, project lead, Ford Smart Mobility. “We wanted to better understand how people use our products so we could help them to improve that behaviour – and a score, combined with guidance, makes it easier to improve.”

Over a four-month period, plug-in devices gathered data from more than 40 Ford Fiestas, driven by volunteers in London, to record actions that each driver took over 160,000 kilometres and more than 4,000 hours. This included detailing the slightest turn of the steering wheel and harsh braking, as well as time of day, weather, and road history. The Driver Behaviour Project could help to enhance current mobility solutions, including the on-demand GoDrive car sharing service and the on demand ride sharing service GoRide.

Our data scientists and transport data experts, Transport API, will now analyse data from the project to gain further insights. In addition to the vehicle-specific data, global design company IDEO was engaged to research what people say, think, feel and do when behind the wheel. This showed a significant difference between how people think they drive, and how they actually do drive.

This week, at London Technology Week, we are demonstrating the Driver Behaviour Project, which also includes studying how driving affects the physical and emotional states of another group of volunteers.

 

As headline sponsor, we are today hosting the panel discussion and networking session “Changing the way the world moves”, at the Vinyl Factory, in Soho. Mobility and technology experts from Transport for London, the geocoding system What3Words, technology focused merchant bank Lepe Partners and IDEO will be among the panellists. The session will be moderated by startup expert, connector and advisor Bindi Karia. Guests also will be able to talk to Mike Nakrani, head of Ford Smart Mobility Europe, and other Ford Smart Mobility project leads.