In a three pronged study which evaluated drivers without a navigation system, drivers with a navigation system, and drivers with a navigation system that included traffic, the results revealed that the drivers using navigation devices 1) drove shorter distances and 2) spent less time driving. Conducted in two metropolitan areas of Germany " Dusseldorf and Munich " the study also showed that drivers with navigation devices had a 12% increase in fuel efficiency, as measured by liters of fuel consumed per 100 kms. Fuel consumption among those drivers using navigation fell from 8.3 to 7.3 l/100kms. When the study results are annualized, they equate to a nearly 2500 kilometer drop in distance driven per year per driver, and an average of 'Å”Ā¬416 in savings on fuel annually per driver.
The participants, who had not previously owned a navigation device, had their vehicles outfitted with a logging device which was used to track the route they drove and their driving speed. The study results reflect more than 2,100 individual trips, more than 20,000 kilometers and almost 500 hours on the road.
The study was conducted by NuStats, a social science research firm that over the past 25 years has established itself as a leader in population surveys and qualitative research pertaining to transportation in general, and personal mobility and transit use in particular.
The findings also revealed additional areas of learning:
Reductions in trip times and distance driven increased over time: There was a marked ālearning curveĀ with the use of navigation devices; greater decreases in trip times and distance driven were seen in the latter half of the study.
The addition of traffic information further reduced trip times and distance driven: The largest reductions were seen with participants using a navigation device with traffic during peak travel times (7:00 " 8:59 AM; 4:00 " 6:59 PM).
Greater reductions were seen during non-routine trips: When traveling a route other than what was customarily traveled, the reductions in trip times and lengths were also higher.
āWith the robust methodology behind this study, we have confidence that these results are representative of a trend that globally has often been implied, but not previously proven in the realm of everyday use. Consumers can enjoy the advantages of navigation not only in relation to a more positive driving experience, but also in terms of the positive impact it can have on their wallets,Ā says Judson Green, president and chief executive officer, NAVTEQ.