driving habits put to test

AMAP Research fellow Helen Middleton pictured with photographer Alan Sill using an Eco Driving Simulator, which scores drivers in terms of their fuel efficiency and safety.
AMAP Research fellow Helen Middleton pictured with photographer Alan Sill using an Eco Driving Simulator, which scores drivers in terms of their fuel efficiency and safety.
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DRIVERS are being offered help to combat rising fuel costs by a new university project.

The University of Sunderland is running the scheme, which shows how simple changes to the way people drive can reduce carbon emissions, maximise fuel efficiency and save money.

Droplet (Driver optimisation for low emissions transport) is being steered by automotive experts at the university as part of the region’s Zero Emission Transport Project, funded by One North East.

The programme uses a specialist simulation unit, which takes a baseline measurement of actions such as acceleration, speed and braking during a short drive. The user is rated with an individual eco-score and given the chance to put their new techniques to the test.

Helen Middleton, from the university’s AMAP (Institute for Automotive and Manufacturing Advanced Practice), said: “The driver can make a huge difference even after a vehicle has been designed to reduce emissions.

“The Droplet project is making a big difference to the drivers who take part. It’s making them a safer driver. They’ll optimise their fuel efficiency, reduce carbon emission and save on fuel costs.”

North East photographer Alan Sill took part in the simulation programme.

He said: “I found this incredibly useful and picked up new techniques which I’ll certainly be using, as I’m planning to buy a low-carbon vehicle.

“As a photographer I do quite a lot of miles a week and the price of petrol is having a huge impact on my turnover. I need to find a way to save money, for mileage and petrol use.”

To ensure the efficiency of the Droplet project, Amap teamed up with North East driver training consultancy Fleet Technique, to help assess motoring skills and offer guidance to those taking part while they’re out on the road.

The Droplet project will be running again from Tuesday, May 3 to Friday, May 6.

Anyone interested in taking part, can contact Helen Middleton on 515 3379.

@SunEchoSchools