HomeMiddle East & AfricaLightfoot invention could kill bills and hide the footprints

    Lightfoot invention could kill bills and hide the footprints


    Comex 2000 could save £2 million on fuel costs

    UK network builders Comex 2000 says telcos can drastically cut their fuel bills, carbon footprint and employee turnover with a new traffic management system that coaxes better performances out of its human resources. The Lightfoot invention it uses could slash its fuel consumption by a million litres over the next five years. The cost savings in fuel bills would be at least £2 million just at today’s diesel prices. Lightfoot also claims it can shed 2,756 tonnes of CO2 from the company’s carbon footprint.

    As a network builder and service provider for the telcos such as Virgin Media O2 and ‘altnets’ such as Zayo, Community Fibre and Gigaclear, Comex 2000 runs a fleet of 700 vans. With high demand for their services and a target driven work culture, van drivers can be forgiven for becoming anxiety driven pedal pumpers, constantly revving up and braking in a desperate bid to beat the traffic lights. That stop and go style is actually counter-productive, according to Lightfoot, a technology start-up that invented a way to coach each driver in efficiency and safety.

    Lightfoot’s developed technology using driver-behaviour expertise from scientists at Bath University. Instant engine analytics measure factors such as load and road gradients and it provides live, in-cab coaching to help drivers improve efficiency and safety. Studies showed when drivers halve the number of lights on Lightfoot’s in-cab dashboard device, a fivefold reduction in fuel consumption results. As drivers improve, they are rewarded with up to £100 a week extra. A trial on 254 vehicles over two months found that mileage per gallon of each van rose by 8.3% and Comex 2000 is now on target to cut its carbon footprint by 2,756 tonnes over the next five years, while cutting fuel bill by a million litres.  

    The tweak in driver performance saved enough energy for 215,000 electric car charges and the savings produced would equal those of converting 330 combustion engines to electric machines, it claims. “The change has dramatically improved driving styles across our business and has cut fuel-sapping and environmentally damaging harsh acceleration habits by 56%,” said Raman Nevile, Fleet Manager for Comex 2000, “Our drivers feel more included and are making a positive difference.”

    Lightfoot has two core components: First it has a small device that communicates directly with the vehicle’s engine and provides the driver with visual and verbal feedback to stay within the engine’s ‘sweet spot’ of optimum efficiency. Secondly, it offers ‘exciting’ rewards for drivers through competitions, prizes, discounts and other incentives. Lightfoot regularly achieves driver engagement levels in excess of 60%, where conventional telematics has struggled to achieve engagement levels higher than 5%.

    The benefits of Lightfoot include an instant and measurable improvement in driving styles and an improvement in the welfare and safety of drivers as well as fuel and emissions savings of 15-20%, according to Professor Chris Brace of Bath University. Accidents can fall by 40%, according to calculations by Allianz Insurance and there is less wear and tear on vehicles, with downtime reduced by 45%. In the future, a more uniform Lightfoot-enabled driving style contribute would enable electric vehicles to drive 15% further before their charge runs down.