Shell has launched Smarter Cab Drivers, which aims to help British cab drivers become more fuel efficient and save money by making simple changes to the way they drive. Working in collaboration with the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce), the four week driving challenge aims to apply both simple driving tips, as well as specially designed ‘nudges’ to see whether drivers can adapt their behaviour in order to reduce fuel costs.
20 public hire cab drivers from ten regions will monitor their fuel efficiency performance as they travel around picking up passengers.
Smarter Cab Drivers will aim to show that by making quick and easy driving improvements (such as avoiding harsh braking or over-revving), drivers can deliver meaningful fuel efficiency and cost savings. Last year, Shell’s Smarter Drivers challenge focused on family driving activity and showed that the average family can save 27% on their fuel bills by adopting smarter driving tips and techniques which reduce fuel consumption.
The challenge will investigate whether traditional learning methods such as Shell’s Smarter Driving tips can be enhanced when combined with the RSA’s own ‘steer theory’ techniques which are designed to reinforce long-term behavioural changes. While all participants have received Shell’s Smarter Driving training and guidance, ten of the cab drivers will also co-create nudges and reminders throughout the challenge to further encourage their efforts and remind them of their training. In a final report, to be published after the challenge end, the RSA will evaluate the nationwide awareness campaign and outline the most successful ways to get other cab drivers, and drivers more generally, thinking about fuel efficiency.
Melanie Lane, general manager, Shell UK Retail, said: “We know fuel prices are high right now so it’s important that we help people save fuel and money. We have research from campaigns in different markets to show that by applying simple tips you can save up to 10% on your fuel bill, hopefully more. It’s not always easy to do day-to-day, which is why Shell is working with cab drivers to understand the challenges drivers face in being more fuel efficient. We hope that as a result of this campaign, cab drivers will become vocal advocates for fuel efficient driving, and we wish all of our cab drivers the very best of luck in their quest to become the most fuel efficient cabbie.”
Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the RSA, said: “We’re very pleased to be working with Shell on the Smarter Cab Drivers project, which gives us a unique opportunity to test the impact of steer theory on driving behaviour for the first time. The science and politics of behaviour change represents a new terrain for business responsibility and competitiveness, and it’s encouraging to see companies like Shell looking to demonstrate not just responsibility, but thought leadership in the way that they encourage people to change their driving habits and improve their fuel efficiency.”