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m.logistics Magazine | Mar/April 2009 | Satnav 'reduces journeys, saves fuel and is greener' – study

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Satnav 'reduces journeys, saves fuel and is greener' – study

Using a satellite navigation system can show definitive improvements in fuel consumption and reductions in harmful emissions, according to controlled trials conducted at Dusseldorf and Munich in Germany by NuStats, a social science research organisation in the PTV group. The work was done on behalf of map producer Navteq.

Drivers in the trials, which were conducted in normal traffic in urban areas, made shorter journeys, spent less time travelling, and as a consequence generated fewer carbon dioxide emissions.

According to Navteq president and chief executive Judson Green: 'These results are representative of a trend that globally has often been implied, but not previously proven in the realm of everyday use.'

Drivers saw a 12 per cent increase in fuel efficiency (consumption fell from 8.3 to 7.3 litres/100km), which is said to equate to a 24 per cent fall in carbon dioxide emissions (down 25 g/km per car). The annualised reduction in distance was nearly 2,500 fewer kilometres per driver.


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There was reportedly a marked learning curve associated with the use of navigation devices. Greater reductions in trip times and distance driven were recorded in the latter half of the study.

The addition of traffic information further reduced trip times and distance driven. The largest reductions were seen among participants using a navigation device in traffic during morning and evening peak travel times.

Perhaps predictably, greater reductions were seen during non-routine trips, where drivers were presumably more reliant on the satnav to tell them where to go.

The people in the study had not previously used satnav. It involved more than 2,100 individual trips, 20,000 km of travel and almost 500 hours on the road.

 

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