While business drivers widely ignored econometers, those with cruise control systems travelled slower on all roads outside built-up areas and used the system much more often than investigators had initially expected. The results showed that company car drivers drove about 5% more efficiently in cars fitted with cruise control, while private drivers - responsible for their own fuel bills - drove 10% more efficiently using either cruise control or an econometer.
However, Novem believes that greater savings could be made if cruise control was used longer-term - giving drivers a chance to learn how best to use it. It also predicts that the number of speeding fines and accidents could be reduced with long-term use. The report says: 'Given the fuel-saving opportunities afforded by both cruise control and the econometer, the use of these devices must be promoted.'