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exeter city futures

Drivin​​​g toward greener, safer transportation systems with the IoT

People’s steadfast love of cars and driving has not wavered since the first motorised vehicles were introduced in the late 1880s, which profoundly transformed society.

Unfortunately, today transportation is the world’s leading cause of air pollution, with vehicles emitting millions of pounds of hazardous pollutants into the air each year.

Besides, driving is risky business!

Every year, between 20 and 50 million people suffer road traffic injuries in the EU alone, costing nations an estimated three to five per cent of their gross national product annually.

The good news? 

Exeter has committed to becoming carbon-neutral by 2030

One forward-thinking city in the United Kingdom is leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) to offer energy-efficient and eco-friendly solutions to make our roads safer and cleaner.

Exeter City Futures, a city council, supported a new initiative aimed at improving sustainability with technology.

It teamed up with Ashwoods Lightfoot, a leading engine telematics provider, for a pilot program to curb vehicle emissions, optimise engine efficiency, and improve driver and road safety.


The IoT and Telematics Prompt Better Driving.

The city recruited 100 citizens to use an innovative Lightfoot device in their cars for eight weeks.

Based on technology initially developed to optimise racecars, the small IoT device is easily deployed under the dashboard and plugs into the Engine Control Unit (ECU) - the nerve centre of the car.

The IoT device continuously monitors engine performance to identify the “sweet spot” where power and efficiency are optimised, and driving performance is safest.

The device provides real-time feedback via an intuitive, easy to read display plus audio alerts that prompt drivers to take action to ensure peak performance, efficiency, and safe driving.

Lightfoot​ Improves Vehicle Efficiency by 16%

After a two-month trial, the Exeter pilot delivered dramatic results.

Every participant improved driving performance since his or her Lightfoot units went live.

There's more.

Participants have reduced the average time in the dangerous red zone – where harsh acceleration and risk are at their highest – by over 75%.

Overall, vehicle efficiency has risen by 16% with average equivalent savings in fuel consumption and reductions in harmful CO2 emissions as well.

But perhaps even more compelling, drivers reported that they felt safer, more confident, and had more fun on the road.

The Thales-enabled Lightfoot system represents a striking example of how the IoT and connected car revolution is improving driver safety and enjoyment, along with engine performance and environmental sustainability.

12 Goals for Exeter

Exeter is one of the oldest cities in Britain.

In 2017, the city was named as the fastest-growing population in the UK and has some of the best quality of life of any place.  The authorities, residents and businesses are engaged in a transformational shift to building a healthier and more sustainable city.

The following video explains the 12 goals that illustrate the priorities of all stakeholders.




More resources on road safety, transportation and the IoT

More inspiring IoT examples

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