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A recent survey conducted by research firm NuStats and funded by GPS-maker NAVTEQ found that drivers equipped with in-car navigation units use 12% less fuel than their non-guided counterparts. The study focused on three groups of drivers in Germany. The first used no GPS at all, the second had a basic GPS and the third had a GPS unit that included traffic information. None of the participants had previously owned navigation units.
Once the participating drivers that had been given GPS units got used to relying on the computer's directions, some interesting results were observed. Drivers with navigation units ended up driving shorter distances and spent less time behind the wheel. As a result, these drivers used less fuel than motorists without GPS units. Want to know more? See the full press release after the break.

[Source: NAVTEQ via Jalopnik]

PRESS RELEASE:

Study shows drivers could save over euro 400 in fuel costs per year

Chicago,IL- NAVTEQ, the leading global provider of digital map, traffic and location data for in-vehicle, portable, wireless and enterprise solutions, has revealed the results of a proprietary research study designed to assess the consumer impact of everyday use of navigation devices. Previous studies in this field focused more on "getting lost" scenarios versus the benefits to drivers of navigation system use during the course of their normal driving habits.

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 euro 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 "learning curve" 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.

"With 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," says Judson Green, president and chief executive officer, NAVTEQ.

About NAVTEQ

NAVTEQ is the leading global provider of digital map, traffic and location data that enables navigation and location-based platforms around the world. NAVTEQ supplies comprehensive digital map information to power automotive navigation systems, portable and wireless devices, Internet-based mapping applications and government and business solutions. The Chicago-based company was founded in 1985 and has approximately 4,000 employees located in 196 offices and in 36 countries.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      i call BULLSH!T

      My GPS units is absolutely awful at determining best routes. No calculation for traffic lights/signs, no calculation for type of road (ie highway, B road, etc), no calculation for traffic. I know that the traffic monitor can be purchased but c'mon; it is 5pm on a wednesday i think it is would be safe them to assume that the places that typically get congested will... SURPRISE! be congested.

      The technology needs to come along before i consider another GPS unit.

      /end rant
        • 5 Years Ago
        The new TomTom units are supposed to take record of the average trip time along certain roads and factor that into your route calculations - your trips are uploaded to their database to improve routing for everyone. Right now I think it just goes on day of the week but I hear they're trying to improve it to more granular hour-based routing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Eh? Well unless the GPS is configured in a proper manner - I know Google maps doesn't take into consideration traffic and stop signs for instance - if it does, it can certainly help, otherwise forget it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Google does it too, but it really depends on where you live - the feature isn't available where I live, for instance.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Depends where you live. -_-
        • 5 Years Ago
        Microsoft's Live Maps does routing based on traffic!

        Try out maps.live.com, you'd be surprised! It is available for major cities only though. I use it everyday to commute to & from work here in Houston.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Driving less has never really entered the conservation debate here. The greens are fixated on miles per gallon. It's been one constant push for the government to ban cars people actually like and force tiny penalty boxes instead. $5000 federal tax subsidies to buy expensive alternate vehicles. Billions sunk into pies in the sky like hydrogen.

      The fuel savings of choosing a location without a 12 hour weekly commute never warrant mention.

      Because pointing fingers at 'big auto' and 'big oil' is a vote getter, and pointing fingers at 'big idiot consumer who lives two counties away from his job site' isn't.


      • 5 Years Ago
      I think it's assuming the non-GPS drivers use the same route as the GPS suggest but then spend more fuel trying to get to the exact location once they're off the interstates and have to navigate city streets. Simply put the GPS user is lost 12% less. Perhaps what they should do is combine the GPS with a simple fuel economy computer. Use accelerometers to advise people when they're making jack-rabbit starts and stops, integrate some traffic info into the unit, and have it know the roads speed-limit so that it could advise you if you're speeding. They could probably also make it so that it could compare actual fuel usage with ideal fuel usage assuming you'd adhered to the speed-limit and drove like a grandma. Sometimes the best way to save fuel is to be made more aware of how much fuel you're wasting with simple things.