Dynamic Ecodriving in Northern California: A Study of Survey and Vehicle Operations Data from an Ecodriving Feedback Device


Author: Elliot Martin, Ph.D, Kanok Boriboonsomsin, Ph.D, Nelson Chan, Nigel Williams, Susan Shaheen, Ph.D, Matthew Barth, Ph.D

Date Published: November 15, 2012

Abstract: Ecodriving describes the behavioral modifications that drivers can make to improve their fuel economy. Dynamic ecodriving comprises the use of real-time feedback information that informs the driver of vehicle performance. This study evaluates the performance of an aftermarket real-time feedback device that reported instantaneous fuel economy to drivers while driving. Study participants (N = 18) drove with the device for two months. During the first month, the device provided no feedback, but collected data on driving activity. During the second month, the device continued to collect data, but also provided the participant with feedback on real-time fuel economy. Participants could then use the information to self-teach how to improve their fuel economy. The participants took two surveys to evaluate their response to the device, and vehicle activity data was analyzed to ascertain the degree to which driving behavior changed. A majority (56%) reported in surveys that the device changed how they drove during the second month. Vehicle activity data showed that different participants modified different behaviors in response to the feedback. Nine participants made some reduction to their acceleration from a stop, and eight made some reduction in the magnitude of their deceleration to a stop. Eleven participants reduced their average highway speeds. Across the broader sample, average highway speeds declined from 65.9 to 65.4 mph. Overall changes observed in fuel efficiency were small across

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August 26, 2015