PR photo of a man standing in front of Lightfoot's branded Toyota Prius

Exeter to become hub for green and safe driving trial – motorists wanted!

Drivers in Exeter are being invited to take part in a groundbreaking pilot programme that could help make driving in the city, the South West and, eventually, the globe cheaper, greener and safer.
Using pioneering technology designed and developed by Exeter-based Lightfoot®, the trial will help to establish if the system, which is already proven to cut fuel consumption by 15% and accidents by up to 60% in the commercial fleet sector, has the potential to do the same among the general public.
Listen to Tony Harbron from our client Lightfoot® chat to BBC Radio Devon’s Fitz about this exciting pilot scheme.
The pilot programme, which requires a minimum of 100 drivers, is being run in partnership with Exeter City Council and Exeter City Futures, a community interest company which aims to implement projects that will enhance Exeter, make it more vibrant, easier to get around, cheaper to live in and healthier than it is today.
Commenting on the initiative, Mark Roberts, managing director of Lightfoot®, said: “Drivers participating in the free scheme have the opportunity to help prove a technology that could have positive implications for the way people drive across the globe.”
“Over several weeks of the trial, which starts in late January/early February, we hope to see significant fuel savings and that will mean reduced CO2 emissions too.  As well as saving pounds in the pockets of local drivers, participants will be able to win prizes by competing against each other as they become more efficient and drive in a more environmentally friendly way.  We see this as a real win-win situation for both the individual and the city, which will bring a range of other longer term benefits including significantly lower insurance premiums for Lightfoot®’s customers.”
Lightfoot® improves driver behaviour using subtle, audible feedback and a traffic light system to indicate how efficiently a vehicle is being driven.  The process effectively gives the engine a voice to help the driver find its sweet spot and save fuel by changing their acceleration habits. It also connects the vehicle to the internet so that drivers can check on their performance and participate in interactive reward-based leagues.  Through gamification, these leagues enable Lightfoot® to build communities of drivers, such as groups of friends, family members or work colleagues, who can compete to win prizes and to find out who’s the best driver.
Mark Roberts, Managing Director of Lightfoot®, added: “Lightfoot® has been a great success to date as it gives people a nudge while they are driving to encourage them to change what they are doing. Importantly, it does this in a supportive way and leaves the driver totally in control.
“UK fleets using our technology have seen really substantial benefits in terms of fuel economy and a dramatic reduction in accident rates.  We now want to see what impact Lightfoot® might be able to achieve in the consumer market.
“This trial is the first step, and if the outcome is good the implications could be substantial for Lightfoot® and for motorists around the world. Most of us are really excited about the big technologies that are hopefully going to make the planet more sustainable in the future; the beauty of Lightfoot® is that it’s a tiny device that can go into most existing cars now and make a dramatic reduction in fuel consumption immediately.
“If we could replicate anything like the 15 per cent average fuel saving that we’ve seen in the fleet market across vehicles in the Exeter trial, it would demonstrate the clear impact that Lightfoot® could have on a global scale.”
Glen Woodcock, CEO of Exeter City Futures, added: “We are very excited about this Lightfoot® trial, the first of many projects Exeter City Futures are promoting which will put data at the heart of improving city life in areas such as transport, mobility and energy use. We see this approach as incredibly important in building a sustainable future for our city and celebrating the forward-thinking businesses based here in Exeter.”
All cars involved in the initiative will be monitored before and after the interactive stage of the trial, enabling Lightfoot® to see improvements in fuel efficiency once its driver improvement technology is switched on.
By the end of the Exeter Pilot, Lightfoot® will be able to analyse all data to assess how much fuel has been saved and to what degree emissions have been lowered in and around the city.  This will provide a body of evidence that, if positive, will be used to take the trial to a larger scale and national launch enabling Lightfoot® to prove itself as a leading consumer product in the automotive sector.
Car owners who drive regularly in and around Exeter and who would like to apply to participate in the Exeter Pilot can find out more at www.lightfoot.co.uk/exeter-pilot
Dan Regan, Head of Engagement at Exeter-based Lightfoot, talking to delegates at Innovate 2017, the UK’s leading innovation show, held at the NEC Birmingham.
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