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New Exeter research reveals that women find their sweet spot more easily than men

October 19, 2016 | News

It’s official, women beat men hands down when it comes to finding the sweet spot of their engine, settling once and for all the age old question of who’s the better driver; men or women.

Revealed by Exeter-based connected car technology provider Lightfoot®, the new research, conducted in the city of Exeter, shows that women using Lightfoot drove more efficiently on average than men.  However, it’s not all one-way traffic because the research also revealed that while women were the better drivers, men using Lightfoot’s visual and audio alert driver guidance device improved more dramatically, closing the gap between the sexes.

The findings emerge from a four-month driver behaviour trial in Exeter involving 100 local participants. Lightfoot’s in-car device, which helps drivers to save fuel, reduce emissions and lower their risk of accidents, monitored driving styles over a total of 240,000 miles.

During the trial, which encouraged drivers to compete for prizes by hitting target efficiency levels, every single driver improved their performance.  Average miles per gallon increased by over 15% and CO2 was cut by a tonne a week**.  Across the whole group 60% achieved Lightfoot’s ‘Elite Driver’ status, something only 3% managed before their Lightfoot was switched on.

Digging deeper into the findings 3% more women achieved Elite Driver status than men, however, men tended to improve their efficiency more significantly over the course of the trial.  In fact, the average score for male drivers with Lightfoot went up by 60% more than it did for women drivers.

Based on the success of the Exeter pilot programme, Lightfoot is now making the technology available for pre-order to a limited number of early adopters ahead of a national launch in 2017.

To launch the availability of its limited release, Lightfoot has unveiled an eye-catching poster campaign to introduce the technology to over a million drivers across the UK.  Unveiled at the Exeter Moto Service station on junction 30 of the M5, and running in service stations across the country, the campaign encourages drivers to use Lightfoot to find their engine’s sweet spot in order to save fuel, reduce risk and compete for prizes.

Data from the Exeter pilot suggests that Lightfoot could typically save drivers an average of £280* on their annual fuel bill.  However, Lightfoot provides a whole series of additional benefits too, which are currently in the pipeline. This includes work being undertaken with a leading insurance company on a policy that will mean much cheaper premiums for Lightfoot drivers – especially those achieving Elite Driver status.

Mark Roberts, MD of Lightfoot, explained: “We have a technology that instantly and sustainably improves the way people drive. It’s already achieving fantastic results, turning thousands of fleet drivers into Elite Drivers but we want to go much further and get as many of the billion plus private vehicles on the planet driving the Lightfoot way to save fuel, lower emissions and reduce accident rates. To do this we have pioneered the use of gamification – competition, leagues and prizes – to make the idea of driving better something people really want to do and actually enjoy.”

Each week a randomly drawn Elite Driver wins a prize including, so far, supercar experiences, free meals and even a go kart race against former F1 world champion Nigel Mansell. As the consumer product rolls out, the prizes and incentives will become more and more attractive.

Mark Roberts adds: “When we reach 50,000 users we will be giving away a car every week. And it’s not just prizes that users can look forward to – Elite Drivers will be eligible for a range of valuable, additional benefits. For example, the work we are currently doing with a leading insurance company is expected to lead to savings of more than 30% on private motor insurance policies for those driving well with Lightfoot.  For 17-20 year olds and their parents, who are typically paying in excess of £2,000 per year for their children’s car insurance, this could be a game changer.”

Mark Roberts says: “Finding the sweet spot of your car’s engine is the key to efficient driving. Not everyone can do it, but with Lightfoot twenty times more people find it than without. This not only means drivers instantly use less fuel, causing less pollution, but they also become eligible for weekly prizes, special deals and other goodies to keep them motivated. Plus, they can win bragging rights by beating their friends, family and colleagues in weekly leagues, making driving efficiently fun and addictive”.

The consumer version of Lightfoot is now available to pre-order on the Lightfoot website at an early adopter price of £79 for the device plus £3.99 per month for the first 100 purchasers.  500 units in total are being released to kick off the launch before rolling out Lightfoot more widely next year.  Those ordering their device will also be first in the queue to gain access to a suite of ‘connected smart car’ solutions including:
·      Automatic detection and notifications of vehicle faults via email before visiting a mechanic
·      Automated breakdown provider alerts and location finder
·      Tracker feature should your car be lost or stolen
·      Business mileage recording and downloading options for expenses claims
·      Automatic MOT, Road Tax and insurance due date notifications
·     Automated “Lifesaver” alerts to the emergency services should your car be involved in an accident

Drivers interested in Lightfoot can find out more by visiting Payment will not be taken until the device is delivered.