Facilitation of Behavior-based Efficiency Opportunities in Vehicular Operations Through Retrofit Information Feedback Systems

Principal Investigator: Dr. Laura Solomon (Department of Psychology)
Funding Agency: US DOT

Project Summary

This project tests the impact of continuous miles per gallon (MPG) feedback on driving behavior and fuel efficiency in gas-powered cars. Participants are employees who commute to work driving their own cars more than 20 minutes each way. For three months, a small computer device will be mounted in their cars to monitor, unobtrusively, MPG aggregated over daily driving intervals. Following a one-month baseline monitoring period, participants randomized to the experimental condition will receive one month of continuous MPG feedback through the computer device display, followed by a one-month return-to-baseline when the feedback display is again masked. Participants in the comparison condition will never observe the MPG feedback. Monthly surveys will assess self-reported efforts to engage in fuel efficient driving behaviors; however, the main dependent measure will be changes in mean MPG obtained during the feedback versus no feedback periods and conditions.

Technology Transfer