Digital mapping developer Navteq says that using GPSs makes people greener drivers. A commissioned research study conducted in Germany by NuStats explored the impact of the everyday use of navigation devices; according to the results, drivers who use navigation assistance devices drive shorter distances and spend less time driving—and that translated directly into less impact on the environment.
“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,” said Navteq president and CEO Judson Green, in a statement. “Consumers can enjoy the advantages of navigation not only in relation to a more positive driving experience, but also in terms of the highly positive impact it can have on the environment.”
Drivers with navigation devices had a 12 percent increase in fuel efficiency compared to drivers without assisted navigation, and fuel consumption amongst drivers using navigation devices dripped from 8.3 liters per 100 km to 7.3 liters per 100 km. The improvement in fuel economy amounts to a 24 percent decrease in the average amount of carbon dioxide emitted on average by a driver every year.
Not surprisingly, the study also found that using navigation devices produced the most trip time and trip length reduction in non-routine trips where participants don’t necessarily know their way around. The study also found that the availability of traffic information also reduced trip times and length, and that the greatest gains in efficiency were seen in the latter half of the study once users got use to their navigation devices—the study’s participants had not previously used a navigation device, and agreed to have their vehicles outfitted and trips logged as part of the research.
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