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Trafficmaster's route to lower stress

Date: 07 August 2007   |   Author: Hugh Hunston

We’re loving the Smartnav

Clinical tests commissioned by Trafficmaster show that its satnav system helps to reduce the biological stress levels of motorists in general and business drivers in particular by one third.

Research by health psychologist David Moxon, of Peterborough University, shows that drivers without Trafficmaster's Smartnav system heading for the same destinations generate three times the stress hormone cortisol than counterparts using the electronic guidance.

A Trafficmaster spokesman, said: "We are working to understand what the human benefits of sat nav and our real-time traffic avoidance facility are, and who benefits the most. With the extra mileage covered by business drivers versus leisure motorists it is fair to assume that stress benefits are amplified."

Trafficmaster believes "intelligent" guidance systems and their duty of care impact are increasingly relevant to growing numbers of van drivers and operators, with light commercial vehicle traffic growing by 39% since 1996.

Moxon is also studying the comparative stress levels between business and private drivers in the context of the claim that Smartnav cuts guided journey distances by up to 32% compared to average "conventional" sat nav savings of 18%.

That translates into saving 30,000 driving hours a month across Trafficmaster's 50,000 customers, with reduced driving periods concentrated among business users.

The spokesman argued: "We know that a minority of customers, 36%, cover the majority, or 70% of mileage, so it is logical to assume they include the business driver factor."

Trafficmaster's researchers point to fleet drivers being the greatest victims of congestion and the main beneficiaries of live guidance technology while offering the "virtuous circle" of providing solutions for the wider driving population.