02.06.14 09:55 Age: 4 yrs

Study at TU Berlin shows how driving simulators allow professional drivers to safely and effectively learn eco-driving skills, enabling up to 30% of fuel savings!

The Technische Universität Berlin and the SiFaT Roadsafety GmbH recently conducted a case study and associated training exercise for 15 professional truck drivers. The goal was to evaluate whether smart eco-driving skills could also be taught “off road” and in a simulator. The simulated environment obviously offers a wide range of advantages, as it allows the participants to learn the new methods in a sheltered and safe environment without the risk of material damage or personal injury, as otherwise could occur in a real world situation. Thanks to a simulator, improved eco-driving skills can be taught without actual fuel consumption or air pollution!
As part of the training exercise, all drivers first received theoretical background information and then followed that up with two “hands-on” driving sessions. Each participant navigated a simulated 8 km long route. Both the fuel consumption and driving time were measured by the simulator and all drivers were instructed on the kind of driving style that enables the most fuel savings while creating less air pollution. Indeed the most economic driving method is that of attentive forward thinking and pro-active surveillance of the road, in essence “looking ahead” and driving in a fluid manner. This means quickly reaching cruising speed and then taking the foot off of the accelerator and simply letting the vehicle roll, especially on downward gradients. Keeping braking and acceleration to the required minimum is essential and when properly applied allows the greatest savings of fuel. This kind of driving style obviously also makes for a more comfortable and smooth ride for the driver and the other vehicle passengers, while not causing any considerable loss of travel time at all. The participants received real-time feedback and audio information from both the simulator and the training supervisors.

In the end, the training session proved that the concepts of eco-driving were very logical to understand and intuitive to apply for all drivers. After the careful examination of the test results and the simulator data, it turned out that the best individual performance achieved fuel savings as high as 30%, while the average score resulted in a 21% reduction of fuel consumption. Such savings obviously bring with them massive economic and ecological advantages. Thanks to the simulator’s accurate data recording function, all test performances were carefully logged and could be analyzed in great detail, allowing for optimal learning and on-site feedback.

If you would like to learn more about these important findings, please contact:
Dr.-Ing. Katja Karrer-Gauß, TU Berlin, Marchstr. 23, 10587 Berlin, phone: 030/314-79522, Fax: 030/314-72581, email 

Even through the ACTUATE partners that the practical “real-world” eco-driving training is an important factor for the success of the impact of the developed eco-driving training program. There will be a further feasibility study carried  out within the project to analyse the benefits and barriers of safe eco-drivign trainigs with simulators for clean vehicles like trolleybuses or trams. The ACTUATE partners clearly see a benefit during the qualification part of a drivers lifelong learning process for the use of a simulator to train eco-driving principles, but so far the cost for and availability of simulators are main barriers for their usage in qualification and further trainings of professional drivers.

SiFaT Road Safety GmbH

SiFaT Road Safety GmbH is an innovative, Berlin-based company based that designs and develops high-end driving simulators for commercial drivers. SiFaT makes all of its simulators available for rental hire and helps supervise training sessions. The state-of-the-art simulators allow highly effective, absolutely realistic training conditions in a safe and environmentally-friendly setting. Compared to actual “real world” driving practice or training scenarios, significant amounts of expense can be saved with a simulator, since there are no fuel costs and there is no risk of material damage or personal injury. Instead, the simulator allows standardized or complex training situations to be repeated with total ease, thereby enabling consistent practice conditions and convenient parameters for all participants.



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