Traffic can waste time. Some areas of our highway system are so congested, annually, about 27,144 hours are wasted on one interchange alone. (That's over 1,000 days). A recent study suggests that drivers that have real time traffic loaded on their GPS systems spend 4 days less on congested highways.
Now this study should be looked at very critically, since NAVTEQ commissioned the study. However, there are some great insights. The study looked at three groups of people: Drivers with no navigation, drivers with static navigation, and drivers with real-time enabled navigation.
Notsurprisingly, people with real time navigation arrived at their destination 18% quicker than their counterparts. Crunch the numbers, and it came out to an annual savings of 4 days.
The study also noted that C02 emissions from the traffic-enabled drivers decreased 21%. Traffic-enabled navigation retails for $250.00 to $350.00.
By comparison, the expensive 'cash for clunkers' program cost up to $4,5000 per driver and if you assume the driver keeps the same driving habits with the new car, cuts CO2 emissions per driver 25%. (However, some suggest that most drivers will drive a new car more).
Alternatively, the Department of Transportation could have injected the 3 billion it spent on clunkers to alleviate the worst traffic areas in the country, also cutting emissions and saving time.
NAVTEQ, the leading global provider of digital map, traffic and location data for in-vehicle, portable, wireless and enterprise solutions, has revealed further insights from a proprietary research study designed to assess the consumer impact of everyday use of navigation devices. These findings focus specifically on the impact that the addition of real-time traffic has on the driver experience, and point to the use of traffic information as a primary influencer in time savings for the average driver.
The results are from a three pronged study conducted in two metropolitan areas of Germany - Dusseldorf and Munich -- which evaluated drivers without a navigation system, drivers with a navigation system, and drivers with a navigation system that included real-time traffic. Previous studies in this field focused more on "getting lost" scenarios versus the benefits to drivers of navigation system use during the course of their normal driving habits.
The study revealed that the drivers using traffic enabled navigation devices experienced dramatic time savings, spending 18% less time driving on an average trip versus drivers without navigation. If applied over the course of a year, a driver who does not currently use a navigation device would save themselves 4 days of driving each year if they had a traffic-enabled navigation system. Additionally, the findings show that drivers with real-time traffic experience reductions in distance traveled as well as increase fuel efficiency which would lead to a decrease in CO2 emissions per driver of .79 metric tons, or 21% less than a driver without a navigation system.
These results not only point to the positive impact on German drivers, they can be projected to other countries as well, for example*:
-- UK drivers with traffic enabled navigation would save 2.5 days per year and drop their CO2 emissions by 20%
-- US drivers with traffic enabled navigation would save 4 days per year and lower their CO2 emissions by 21%
* Study results have been applied to country specific data (e.g. market size; average annual miles driven) in reporting these figures
The participants, who had not previously owned a navigation device, had their vehicles outfitted with a logging device which was used to track the route they drove and their driving speed. The study results reflect more than 2,100 individual trips, more than 20,000 kilometers and almost 500 hours on the road.
The study was conducted by NuStats, a social science research firm that over the past 25 years has established itself as a leader in population surveys and qualitative research pertaining to transportation in general, and personal mobility and transit use in particular.
"This study continues to support the positive role that navigation plays in improving the consumer driving experience," says John MacLeod, executive vice president, NAVTEQ Connected Services. "In addition, the study supports the tangible benefits of navigation on fuel savings and environmental impact."