There are different ways to train the smart driving style of ECO-DRIVE. The most effective of all is the on-road-training, but there are also training possibilities with simulators and internet simulators.
The usual style of learning ECO-DRIVING is through participation in a one- to two- day course in a specially-prepared car, bus or lorry. The typical course consists of a test-drive prior to the training with analysis of the driving style, then communication and development of the new driving style, with a second test-drive plus analysis of the improvement. Simultaneously, the fuel consumption, speed and rate of gear change will generally be evaluated.
The course has the advantage of providing learning in a realistic environment by giving experience in everyday traffic situations. At the end of the course, the participants are then more likely to continue with the new driving style. They may also pass on their new skills and knowlege at their workplace so others can learn from them as well as directly from driving instructors.
The course also has the advantage via thorough analysis of being able to see the particular differences between the two tests.It also has the benefit of avoiding technical questions and so resulting in no problems with insurance companies.
This typical course is aimed at everyone, from those participating in further training after initial driving instructor lessons to those who drive for their profession, i.e. fleet drivers.
An intesting strategy for distributing ECO-DRIVING further involves the integration of ECO-DRIVING as a unit to be learnt in other pre-existing courses, e.g. Traffic Safety Training programmes.
Training simulators offer several posibilities and software programmes for the training of ECO-DRIVING. The methods are simple and installation is flexible so a simulator can be very valuable for many different types of learning, particularly in the first instance. Also, large fleet companies can use a simulator for educating drivers at a reasonable cost with the ability to vary the training inside the simulator.So by using simulators, educating the city of Vienna on transport inside the centre, will of course save time.
The VSZV in Switzerland trained several thousand drivers on simulators i.e. they did not receive “on-the-road” training. An evaluation of the long term effects of these trainings is available in the download section.
Simulators can therefore be an important instrument in the distribution to the population of ECO-DRIVING.
Analyses of the effects of ECO-DRIVING in Europe have shown that simulators can provide the best possibility for development as well as being more transferable allowing use throughout the whole of Europe.
The Virtual Trainer ECOdrive is a computer programme (driving simulator) that can easily be installed on almost every Personal Computer. By using a mouse, keyboard or a steering wheel it is possible to make an exciting ride in the city, the country or on the motorway. In the menu one encounters various choices, like petrol or diesel fuel, clutch gear or automatic transmission driving, long or short rides, full steering aid and usage with mouse, keyboard or steering wheel.
The virtual instructor assists in applying the basics of ‘ECOdrive’ in practice. For example to change to a higher gear as quick as possible, let the car freewheel in gear, yet remain a smooth driving style.
You will also get feedback on how much fuel and time you can save when applying ‘ECOdrive’. This will be graphically supported in the meantime indicating how much money you can safe.