As if drivers on the road need more going on with their phones, there's a world of apps dedicated to teaching and training in the art of eco-driving. So what's out there?
Let's dive straight in to our pockets to namecheck the smartphone apps vying to help us clock up more environmentally friendly miles.
Starting with manufacturers – are they leading by example?
“Improve your driving style with eco:Drive” says Fiat, whose app monitors drivers' acceleration, deceleration, gear shifts and speed changes to gauge fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
With eco:Drive, journeys are assigned a score destined for the eco:Index, which ranks drivers in a league table. It sounds engaging, but a 2.6 rating in Google's Play isn't a ringing endorsement. Enter Kia, whose app of a similar name feels more like a winner.
Eco-drive Tumble they call it – a sharp 4.3/5 on the Play Store – uses GPS and sensors to measure 10 driving criteria. A driver's actions culminate in a “professional driving diagnosis” – and the user journey finishes on an educative note: links to e-learning pages to swat up.
BMW too has its ECO PRO mode for cars made after 2013. It's a component of the manufacturer's Connected Drive system and rates driver style with the addition of feedback and advice on driving more efficiently.
Renault has also married app and on-board with Eco² Driving, a tool found on R-Link. Confident in their tech, Renault claim drivers can save up to 25% on fuel, but that's depending on “the driving conditions, the driving style, and the driver”.
When it comes to more general tools, we're reliably informed that Prodrive Learning is a popular eco-driving solution in Benelux.
Offline, the company offers in-depth analysis and benchmarking of a fleet's current eco-friendliness, and builds custom roadmaps to make things better. Prodrive does much of its business offline, but their e-learning environment qualifies it as a driving app – just.
One leasing company that speaks up for Prodrive is Athlon, which also has an eco-driving buddy in e-Driver – an integrated analytics and data intelligence service designed to encourage better, and more sustainable, on-road behaviour. But that's for client drivers.
Of course leasers all have their apps, but driver feedback and reporting systems is a huge and exclusive slice of their client service, apps aren't bound for any old app store. Some of these tools are at the cutting edge of Big Data, which you can read in more depth later on.
You can read the complete article in the January issue of Fleet Europe magazine. If you don't have your subscription to Fleet Europe magazine yet, visit our e-Shop and order your international car fleet magazine today.